This paper presents an approach for the joint optimization of maintenance and improvements of the components of a network of infrastructure facilities such as highway pavements or bridges. In state-of-the-art infrastructure management systems such as Pontis (FHWA 1993) and BRIDGIT (NET 1994), these two problems have usually been handled separately. This is partly because the budgets allocated for maintenance and for improvements often come from separate sources, and also because the problems seem quite different. However, these decisions (maintenance and improvement) are not independent because of the presence of trade-offs between the two sets of policies. The paper develops a Markov decision model for the joint optimization of maintenance and improvement, thus improving the budget allocation among facilities in the network between the two sets of activities and within each set. The model is used to solve for steady-state policies, but relaxes the assumption of age-homogeneous condition-state transition probabilities, which has been criticized in the literature. Moreover, the model allows for the possibility of not exhausting the annual budget available every year, so that part of it can be spent more efficiently in later years. The paper includes a case study of a network of bridge decks that demonstrates that substantial savings can be achieved through the joint optimization of maintenance and improvement policies.


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  • Accession Number: 00779713
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 26 1999 12:00AM