Gaussian Kernel Methods for Seismic Fragility and Risk Assessment of Mid-Rise Buildings

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Seismic fragility functions can be evaluated using the cloud analysis method with linear regression which makes three fundamental assumptions about the relation between structural response and seismic intensity: log-linear median relationship, constant standard deviation, and Gaussian distributed errors. While cloud analysis with linear regression is a popular method, the degree to which these individual and compounded assumptions affect the fragility and the risk of mid-rise buildings needs to be systematically studied. This paper conducts such a study considering three building archetypes that make up a bulk of the building stock: RC moment frame, steel moment frame, and wood shear wall. Gaussian kernel methods are employed to capture the data-driven variations in the median structural response and standard deviation and the distributions of residuals with the intensity level. With reference to the Gaussian kernels approach, it is found that while the linear regression assumptions may not affect the fragility functions of lower damage states, this conclusion does not hold for the higher damage states (such as the Complete state). In addition, the effects of linear regression assumptions on the seismic risk are evaluated. For predicting the demand hazard, it is found that the linear regression assumptions can impact the computed risk for larger structural response values. However, for predicting the loss hazard with downtime as the decision variable, linear regression can be considered adequate for all practical purposes.



seismic fragility, seismic risk, kernel methods, performance-based earthquake engineering, demand hazard


Dhulipala, S.L.N. Gaussian Kernel Methods for Seismic Fragility and Risk Assessment of Mid-Rise Buildings. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2973.