Multi-period optimization of pavement management systems



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Texas A&M University


The purpose of this research is to develop a model and solution methodology for selecting and scheduling timely and cost-effective maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction activities (M & R) for each pavement section in a highway network and allocating the funding levels through a finite multi-period horizon within the constraints imposed by budget availability in each period, frequency availability of activities, and specified minimum pavement quality requirements. M & R is defined as a chronological sequence of reconstruction, rehabilitation, and major/minor maintenance, including a "do nothing" activity. A procedure is developed for selecting an M & R activity for each pavement section in each period of a specified extended planning horizon. Each activity in the sequence consumes a known amount of capital and generates a known amount of effectiveness measured in pavement quality. The effectiveness of an activity is the expected value of the overall gains in pavement quality rating due to the activity performed on a highway network over an analysis period. It is assumed that the unused portion of the budget for one period can be carried over to subsequent periods. Dynamic Programming (DP) and Branch-and-Bound (B-and-B) approaches are combined to produce a hybrid algorithm for solving the problem under consideratioin. The algorithm is essentially a DP approach in the sense that the problem is divided into smaller subproblems corresponding to each single period problem. However, the idea of fathoming partial solutions that could not lead to an optimal solution is incorporated within the algorithm to reduce storage and computational requirements in the DP frame using the B-and-B approach. The imbedded-state approach is used to reduce a multi-dimensional DP to a one-dimensional DP. For bounding at each stage, the problem is relaxed in a Lagrangean fashion so that it separates into longest-path network model subproblems. The values of the Lagrangean multipliers are found by a subgradient optimization method, while the Ford-Bellman network algorithm is employed at each iteration of the subgradient optimization procedure to solve the longest-path network problem as well as to obtain an improved lower and upper bound. If the gap between lower and upper bound is sufficiently small, then we may choose to accept the best known solutions as being sufficiently close to optimal and terminate the algorithm rather than continue to the final stage.