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Pipe failure assessment and decision support system for a smart operation and maintenance

A comprehensive literature review and a conceptual decision analysis model proposal

Time: Thu 2022-11-17 13.00

Location: M108, Brinellvägen 23, Stockholm

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Language: English

Subject area: Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Engineering and Bridges

Doctoral student: Roya Meydani , Bro- och stålbyggnad

Opponent: Docent Andreas Lindhe, Chalmers University of Technology

Supervisor: Docent John Leander, Bro- och stålbyggnad

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The reported research provides a rough guide to the best practice of decision modeling concerning urban pipeline systems’ rehabilitation. The thesis aims to bring attention to the fact that a proper decision-making model is a cornerstone for efficient infrastructure management. More precisely, this thesis aims to increase the knowledge about applicable decision support methods by identifying relevant factors that should be considered in the decision-making process. This can, facilitate future rehabilitation attempts of existing urban infrastructure.

A utility-based decision model was adopted for a water distribution network in Sweden to locate and rehabilitate leakages as an ultimate sign of failure. This was performed by implementing and evaluating a Bayesian decision model including the treatment of uncertainties in evaluating the best decision from a short-term perspective. Despite its simplicity, the result showed that the proposed model could facilitate problem-solving approaches when uncertainty is an issue.

Considering the several interacting factors of services and the availability of information, the importance of problem structuring before applying a decision model was extensively acknowledged. As a result, a conceptual decision model was proposed to choose the most appropriate decision model applicable for a particular problem in the essence of deciding how to decide. The presented model illustrated the first steps of developing a theoretical framework for a rational yet practical decisionmaking. This approach, which is aimed to be further employed in rehabilitation strategies of urban pipelines, ensures that the chosen decision technique has explicitly considered different levels of uncertainty and would be the best-established solution for a particular type of problem, organization, and stakeholder. This effort may help the decision analysts define the problem and elicit objectives and values relatively early in the decision-making to ensure that decisions to be selected would support the desired outcomes, actions, and core values. Then, a critical evaluation of the decision strategy was presented by comparing the performed Bayesian approach with the proposed conceptual model. Then so, it was shown that the choice of the decision model is dissimilar if the presented specific basic components vary. This was performed by presenting two semi-fictitious case studies, exemplifying the framework’s importance in structuring the assessment of available means.