A Decison Support System for Multi-Objective Multi-Asset Roadway Asset Management

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Virginia Tech

The limited available budget along with old aging infrastructure in nation magnifies the role of strategic decision making for maintenance of infrastructure. The challenging objective is to maintain the infrastructure asset systems in a state of good repair and to improve the efficiency and performance of the infrastructure systems while protecting and enhancing the natural environment. Decision makers are in need of a decision support system to consider these multiple objectives and criteria to effectively allocate funding and achieve the highest possible return on investment on their infrastructure. The research proposes and validates a framework for such decisions. The proposed model aims at finding optimal techniques for maintenance of multiple roadway asset items while taking into account time, cost, level of service and environmental impacts. Therefore, the goal is to answer what are the optimal combinations of maintenance techniques for roadway assets while more than one objective is being optimized. In other words, the main objective is to develop a decision support system for selecting and prioritizing necessary actions for MRandR (Maintenance, Repair and Rehabilitation) of multiple asset items in order for a roadway to function within an acceptable level of service, budget, and time while considering environmental impacts. To achieve these desirable outcomes, this model creates a two-stage framework for a sustainable infrastructure asset management. First a multi-objective problem based on the multi colony ant colony optimization is analyzed. The objectives of the problem are: (i) Minimizing maintenance costs, (ii) Minimizing maintenance time, (iii) Minimizing environmental impacts and (iv) Maximizing level of service improvement. In the second stage, the results of the multi objective optimization will be prioritized using a Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) process. The proposed approach will simultaneously optimize four conflicting objectives along with using a multi criteria decision-making technique for ranking the resulted non-dominated solutions of multi objective optimization. The results of implementation of the proposed model on a section of I-64 highway are presented for a sub-set of asset items. Moreover, the proposed model is validated using a scalable test problem as well as comparison with existing examples. Results reveal the capability of the model in generation of optimal solutions for the selection of maintenance strategies. The model optimizes decision making process and benefits decision makers by providing them with solutions for infrastructure asset management while meeting national goals towards sustainability and performance-based approach. In addition, provides a tool to run sensitivity analysis to evaluate annual budget effects and environmental impacts of different resource allocation scenarios. Application of the proposed approach is implemented on roadway asset items but it is not limited to roadways and is applicable to other infrastructure assets.

Roadway Asset Management, Multi-Objective Optimization