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Ingeniería e Investigación

Print version ISSN 0120-5609


BELTRAN, G  and  ROMO, M. Assessing artificial neural network performance in estimating the layer properties of pavements. Ing. Investig. [online]. 2014, vol.34, n.2, pp.11-16. ISSN 0120-5609.

A major concern in assessing the structural condition of existing flexible pavements is the estimation of the mechanical properties of constituent layers, which is useful for the design and decision-making process in road management systems. This parameter identification problem is truly complex due to the large number of variables involved in pavement behavior. To this end, non-conventional adaptive or approximate solutions via Artificial Neural Networks - ANNs - are considered to properly map pavement response field measurements. Previous investigations have demonstrated the exceptional ability of ANNs in layer moduli estimation from non-destructive deflection tests, but most of the reported cases were developed using synthetic deflection data or hypothetical pavement systems. This paper presents further attempts to back-calculate layer moduli via ANN modeling, using a database gathered from field tests performed on three- and four-layer pavement systems. Traditional layer structuring and pavements with a stabilized subbase were considered. A three-stage methodology is developed in this study to design and validate an "optimum" ANN-based model, i.e., the best architecture possible along with adequate learning rules. An assessment of the resulting ANN model demonstrates its forecasting capabilities and efficiency in solving a complex parameter identification problem concerning pavements.

Keywords : Artificial neural networks; pavements; non-destructive testing; deflections; layer moduli.

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