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Advances in backcalculating the mechanical properties of flexible pavements

Advances in backcalculating the mechanical properties of flexible pavements

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Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 www.elsevier.


Advances in backcalculating the mechanical properties of flexible pavements
A. Burak Goktepe a, Emine Agar b, A. Hilmi Lav b,*
b a Department of Civil Engineering, Ege University, 35100 Izmir, Turkey Istanbul Technical University, Department of Civil Engineering, 34469 Ayazaga, Istanbul, Turkey

Received 22 March 2005; received in revised form 29 September 2005; accepted 5 October 2005 Available online 9 November 2005

Abstract In current practice, the evaluation of the performance of existing road pavements has become a priority issue for many highway engineers. To make appropriate rehabilitation and management decisions the engineer must rely on an efficient method for determining the structural conditions of pavements. Nondestructive testing (NDT) reveals the stress–strain properties of pavement layers at relatively low strain levels. Since the theoretical approaches used to determine the stress–strain relationships in pavement layers calculate the deflections for given mechanical properties, it is necessary to make an inversion using a backcalculation tool. Several methods have been developed to backcalculate the mechanical properties of flexible pavement; these methods vary in analysis type, material model, and optimization algorithm. This study is designed to explain these methods and to compare and contrast them in terms of modeling precision, computational expense, and calculation details. Consequently, innovations and advances in backcalculating flexible pavements are considered in this paper. q 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: NDT; backcalculation; flexible pavements; pavement analysis

1. Introduction The structural condition of a pavement structure generally provides the necessary information for: (a) an estimation of the pavement’s remaining life, and (b) the selection of a feasible rehabilitation and/or reconstruction strategy. Considering the length and the structure of a road network in a country, highway engineers need flexible, fast, and reliable ways to determine the physical condition of the pavement section being examined. Nondestructive testing (NDT) methods are being currently used since they analyze the pavement’s structural condition in a nondestructive manner and are rapidly applied. Basically, NDT methods may be categorized as (a) deflection basin methods and (b) surface wave methods. The former methods are fundamentally based on the measurement of surface deflections emerging by the applied load as well, as on the correlation among these values and the stiffness of each layer. Obviously, the amount of surface deflection depends on loading conditions (type, magnitude, contact area, and duration), measurement location, and layer properties (thickness, mass, and stiffness). Therefore, discrepancies
* Corresponding author. Tel.: C90 212 285 6535; fax: C90 212 286 5563. E-mail address: lav@itu.edu.tr (A. Hilmi Lav).

0965-9978/$ - see front matter q 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.advengsoft.2005.10.001

among NDT devices originate from the variations in loading conditions and measurement locations. Typical deflection basin testing techniques widely used are the Dynaflect road rater, falling weight deflectometer (FWD), and rolling weight deflectometer (RWD) tests [1–4]. Surface wave tests, on the other hand, record the Rayleigh waves induced by applied load and propagating through the pavement surface. These tests allow the travel time between successive receivers to be calculated for different excitation frequencies by collected wavelength data. Such procedures are also referred to as spectral analysis of surface waves (SASW) and depend on the phase velocities and the excitation frequencies [4–6]. A determination of material characteristics, namely material stiffness of each pavement layer, is essential in conducting pavement design using mechanistic approaches. Theoretical models (such as the layered elastic theory and finite element methods) use the stiffness properties of pavement layers to calculate resulting strains. In order to obtain the structural condition (in terms of elastic stiffness) of a pavement structure using measured surface deflections, it is necessary to characterize the inverse mapping of theoretical pavement response model. Such numerical models involving parameter identification routines are generally referred to as pavement backcalculation techniques [7]. Backcalculation methods can generally be grouped into three basic categories: adaptive, static, and dynamic.

an impulse load is applied on pavement surface and deflection data is recorded in the time domain. pavement backcalculation procedures. In NDT methods. adaptive processes are identified with neural networks and neuro-fuzzy systems. Focusing on the type of loading provides us with three types of load applications. statistical evaluation. duration. thus. static and dynamic methods are classified by loading type. The FWD load is induced by a circular plate as well as a rubber seal that is placed between the plate and the surface to avoid the instant impact effect. The FWDs simulate vehicular loading quite successfully. i.10. In the forward direction of analysis. As can be seen from the figure. database search. mechanical modeling. which contains pavement shear modulus calculated by Rayleigh wave velocities [5–6]. Contradictions to this approach are geophysical methods. displacements are recorded along the pavement surface subjected to a steady state harmonic or a transient dynamic load [4. The steady-state dynamic case is similar to the effect of the vehicle passing over the pavement section.23–25]. Dynamic tests are normally performed through the longitudinal direction of the pavement and measured deflection basins characterize the structural integrity of the pavement system in accordance with the actual traffic loads that are dynamic in nature. Generally. Burak Goktepe et al.7. and have been preferred by several researchers [3. the calculated values are compared with deflections measured by NDT device. they increase nonlinearly until the peak point and decrease after the peak by elapsing time. and economical equilibriums. In the backward pass of computation. the determination of mechanical properties is crucial for the problem statement description. in the time domain impulse loading. an impulse load within the range of [6. Innovations and advances in backcalculating the mechanical properties of flexible pavements are considered in this state-of-the-art study (from 1983 to 2005). nondestructive testing. and evaluations on backcalculation methods are given in the following sections. deflections are computed for given traffic loads and pavement structure. therefore. In this regard. and the loading period is related with the vehicle’s speed. and magnitude) and deflection measurement locations. 1.19–22]. developments made after the last state-of-the-art study [16] as well as the earlier studies on the backcalculation of flexible pavements are presented here. Adaptive methods do not directly utilize a pavement response model. peak deflection is measured by the geophone directly below the load application point and deflections are smaller for more distant geophones. Deflection Maximum Deflection Time Radial distance Fig. It should be mentioned that the inverse process can be performed by several techniques. calculation details. such as the least-squares. namely forward and backward.15.16]. There are a number of FWDs commercially available. steady-state vibratory. / Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 In existing studies.14. the mechanical properties of flexible pavement layers are measured at low strain levels. in current deflection basin tests. static. In this context. Deflection curves exhibit haversine behavior. Virtually. they employ two calculation directions. Accordingly. The idea behinds the NDT methodology for the structural performance of the pavement system is inversely proportional with the amount of surface deflections emerged by the applied load. such as the Dynatest FWD.7–156 kN] is impacted on the pavement surface. Static loading is the first and the simplest case and cannot simulate the actual traffic loads. Nondestructive testing methods Highway engineers seek the answers to two essential questions when performing the structural evaluation of a pavement system: (1) how much the pavement system can serve within limits under estimated traffic loads? (2) What is the optimum strategy for the pavement management? The answers of these questions are based on an optimization problem considered by the combination of material behaviors. computational expense.14–18]. These optimization steps are conducted until the differences between calculated and measured deflections stay under a certain error criterion. Fig. and data requirements.20. Therefore.422 A. Illustration of typical FWD deflection graph. and genetic algorithm [4. peak values for each geophone are used to plot deflection basin curve. and utilize conventional pavement response models. transient surface deflections are measured at different locations (usually at six or seven locations) by geophones. and related deflection values are recorded in the time domain. the KUAB FWD. In the FWD test. The objective of this study is to categorically explain flexible pavement backcalculation methods as well as to compare and contrast them in terms of modeling precision. and new mechanical properties are determined by a parameter identification routine. and the Phoenix FWD. . such as the spectral analysis of surface waves (SASW).e. 1 illustrates the typical result of an FWD test. Dynaflect and Road Rater are two examples of popular steady-state dynamic loading devices. and the time domain impulse. Hence. but rather simulate inverse mapping by learning the target behavior via known input-output data patterns [8–13]. 2. Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) is a transient impulse loading device [3. several sensors are used to measure the deflection values on different points of pavement surface.21. the gradient descent method. the discrepancies among deflection based NDT methods are based on variations in loading details (type. As their names imply. On the other hand. The Benkelman beam and La Croix deflectometer are NDT devices working with a static type of loading. Generally. Dynamic loading is precise and realistic to simulate the effect that is imposed by actual traffic loads.

and attempts were made to establish the inverse correlation with functional. The rolling weight deflectometer (RWD). Several researchers carried out extensive research to understand the different aspects of these techniques. low amplitude excitations are sufficient to generate these waves [3.36.37]. there are other geophysical testing devices. The most popular small-scale devices are: (a) German dynamic plate bearing test (GDPBT). Since pavement deformation is not the essential parameter in these methods. The wave propagation tests record the stress waves propagating along the surface of the pavement due to applied load. which mimics the theory of evolution [3. However. Usually.15. but transducers utilized and analysis procedure lead to several variations in the measured outcomes [26]. RWD can produce thousands of deflection data measurements per hour. Initial studies of this problem were based on static analysis. lowering the time efficiency. Backcalculation of flexible pavements Backcalculation problems. the matching process is performed by an iterative process.16–20. and empirical approaches. and nonlinear nature of the problem. By computing the travel time between adjacent receivers for different excitation frequencies. The SPA method employs two types of pneumatic impact hammers to produce excitations possessing short and long wavelengths. it is an optimization process performed to obtain inverse mapping of a known relation established by discrete or continuous data points. For this reason. and DSA optimization techniques are illustrated in Fig. in which deflection values are calculated using different set of moduli. Basically.A. In order to accomplish this. This technique is represented by the SASW method [27]. In all static approaches. GPR is a pulse-echo method designed to locate structural objects and to evaluate layer properties. can measure deflections at a certain speed and overcomes the major drawback of FWD. It functions like an ultrasound machine.000 kHz. pavement response analysis (calculation of deflections) can be considered as either static or dynamic. a dispersion curve is obtained through correlating phase velocities with wavelengths. database search algorithm (DSA). As a common technique used in this kind of tests. 2 [4. thus.33]. which greatly exceed the approximate thirty measurements per hour measured by the FWD [2]. GA. 3. optimization processes can be performed by using a parameter identification algorithm (PIA). SPA has a hammer with a contact load about 2. these attempts were not successful. conventional methods are based on iterative optimization procedures. Schematic representation of static linear elastic conventional backcalculation methods with PIA.28–32]. such as nonlinear least squares. Basically. among all the NDT methods. RWD is the fastest way to collect deflection data. statistical. it is obvious that the nonlinear analysis increases the precision of the forward model. pavement moduli). Since the nonlinearity is closer to the nature of pavement materials. such as ground penetrating radar (GPR). The discrepancies among these models are related with the type of the pavement (forward) response model and the optimization procedure carried out for the determination of appropriate layer modulus values.32. waves are monitored and recorded by receivers. Accordingly. The thickness and stiffness of considered pavement layers are then obtained by an inversion process based on the propagation of generalized plane surface waves of the Rayleigh type. 2. Deflection calculations are conducted using an equivalent pavement response model with synthetic moduli. while time signals are transformed to the frequency domain. Available sources reveal that numerous backcalculation techniques have been developed for the backcalculation of pavement layer moduli. used to evaluate the pavement quality. It should also be noted that DSA based backcalculation employs the pattern searching algorithm through optimization routines and utilizes a predetermined database instead of calculating deflections in the each step of the optimization [15. the general classification of backcalculation methods is presented in Fig. . iterations are continued until a close match between measured and calculated deflection values are satisfied [4. As can be seen from Fig. (b) TRL foundation tester (TFT). seismic wave methods are constrained in terms of the magnitudes of the loads used to generate seismic waves. Consequently. On the basis of classifications and implementations made by several researchers.67 kN and with frequency up to 12. there are also several small-scale (portable) dynamic plate test devices available.16. are prevalently used in many scientific disciplines. 3. and genetic algorithm (GA). they are similar in terms of the mechanics of operation. on the other hand. Basically. The most popular surface wave propagation test is the seismic pavement analyzer (SPA). The backcalculation process in pavement system is the numerical analysis of measured surface deflections performed for the estimation of layer stiffness parameters (namely. / Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 423 The primary disadvantage of FWD is that it has to stop at each test point for several minutes throughout the measuring process.34–36]. Burak Goktepe et al. also known as parameter identification problems. RWD utilizes a screening device to locate pavement sections with similar deflections and consists of four noncontact optical load tires. due to the inherent. measured deflections are matched with calculated deflections.14–18. However. but utilizes radio waves instead of sound waves [3]. the main disadvantage is that testing is performed rapidly and the obtained moduli are at low strain levels (in the range of strains where the moduli are not strain dependent).4. RWD sensors perform two measurements at the same time: (a) The distance to the pavement and (b) vertical displacement of the sensor with respect to the laser beam. In addition to the above explained large-scale deflection basin NDT methods. these measure the elastic stiffness modulus of considered foundation material. and (c) Loadman. It should be noted that GA is an AI (artificial intelligence)-based model-free optimization technique. and forward pavement response is calculated using either layered elastic theory or finite element method (FEM) for linear or nonlinear elastic material behaviors. In addition.16].6. On the other hand. sophisticated.

2. In this earlier attempt. stresses and strains are characterized with a fourth-order differential equation involving four Forward Analysis ∆k (E) PIA. for axisymmetric stress distribution and cylindrical coordinates.1. Layer thickness ν.424 A. Overview of backcalculation methods. 3. Burak Goktepe et al. Static backcalculation procedures The idea of calculating strains within the semi-infinite layered elastic media developed by applied static loads goes back to the prior work of Burmister [38]. (a) Measured Peak Deflections R = max δk R= max Load k Peak Applied I = max P Poisson ratio. . GA max δk ≈ ∆k(E) * max P Backward Analysis E<Changes> Error Criterion Satisfied : Number of sensors k PIA : Parameter Identification Algorithm GA : Genetic Algorithm E (b) Measured Peak Deflections R = max δk Database R= max Load k Peak Applied I = max P Poisson ratio. h Burmister used Boussinesq’s equations with several assumptions for two and three-layered elastic half-space. h Forward Pattern Searching Algorithm Backward Analysis max δk ≈ ∆k(E) * max P E<Changes> Error Criterion Satisfied k: Number of sensors E Fig. Due to layered elastic theory. Layer thickness ν. Schematics of static linear conventional backcalculation with (a) PIA-GA and (b)DSA. / Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 Backcalculation Methods Static Adaptive Dynamic Closed Form Graphical Conventional Empirical Impulse Load Vibratory Load Linear Nonlinear Frequency Domain Time Domain Steady State Genetic Algorithm Parameter Identification Database Search Linear Nonlinear Genetic Algorithm Fig. Parameter Identification 3.

in nonlinear analysis. .4. A typical illustration of four-layer linear dynamic pavement model is given in Fig. Poisson’s ratio (n) and the thickness (h) of each layer are considered to be constant in this study.42–44].e. such as Green function solution and dynamic FEMs. Layer Thickness. i. their values are generally assumed to be known. for impulse loads as in FWD test.54]. and several material models. Layer thickness ν. Creep compliance is a viscoelastic property that is related with the asphalt concrete (AC) layer as well as internal damping is the function of inertia. In this context.16. complex modulus is generally assumed independent of the frequency. although constant assumption does not result in serious mistakes [4. the dynamic response of a pavement depends on the elastic moduli. integration constants that are determined by boundary and continuity conditions. ρ. Poisson’s ratio of each layer can be taken into account as an additional design variable. and the dynamic complex modulus considered in the frequency domain [22. Therefore. m. internal damping ratio. Basically.39]. h. since loading and deflection data are in the frequency domain for steady-state vibratory tests. are performed to calculate resulting surface deflections. h3 E4. Young’s modulus is the fundamental property of elasticity and is accounted for all flexible pavement layers.16. only the peak load application is utilized because of the linear elastic material assumption. β3.40–54]. which is considered for base. Nevertheless. thickness. The viscoelastic properties of AC layer can be characterized by creep compliance defined in the time domain. Typical dynamic multilayer pavement model. measured deflections are matched with the calculated deflections for all load levels instead of a peak value [16]. For remaining layers (base and subgrade).16]. Details of layered elastic theory and related forward calculation programs can be found elsewhere [22. there can be two Deflection Functions R(ω) = δk e i ω t+Φk Load Functions I(ω) = P e i ω t Poisson’s ratio. 5.e. 6. 3. h2 E3.A. In the backcalculation process undertaken by static loading data. The complex modulus is the function of angular frequency (u) and the three material properties. loading is performed as either impulsive or vibratory in dynamic response analyses. E. Analogous to static linear case.19.40. β) Forward Analysis ∆k (G*) R(ω) ≈ ∆k (G*) * I(ω) Forward G*<Changes> Error Criterion Satisfied G* → f (m. and subgrade layers in elastodynamic analyses [4. E. Elastic Modulus and Dynamic Parameters (ν. In order to use the dynamic loading data. pavement moduli. there is no need for a transformation in this type of backcalculation analysis. Poisson’s ratios. In order to compute more realistic deflection values. h1 E2. As emphasized before. can be utilized to characterize these layers [22. β2. Fourier analyses are usually conducted for the transformation of the domain.2. such as Kelvin and Maxwell. β4. Then. Fig. ω) k: Number of sensors Analysis G* Fig. h4 Asphalt Concrete Base Subbase Subgrade G* = E’(w) + (1 +ib) PIA max δkj ≈ ∆k(E) * max Pj E<Changes> Backward Error Criterion Satisfied G* = E’(w) + (1 +ib) G* = E’(w) + (1 +ib) E Fig. the nonlinearity in the material behavior as well as using different load levels existing in the test method can be considered. elastodynamic analysis. Nevertheless. Schematic representation of static nonlinear backcalculation with PIA. β. Therefore.42–45]. h k : Number of sensors j : Number of load levels G* = E’(w) + iE’’(w) Forward ∆k (E) E1. m. Obviously.16]. 6 depicts the schematical representation of dynamic backcalculation for steady-state vibratory loads [4. E) is changed by a parameter identification algorithm (PIA) to match calculated (() and measured deflections (d). / Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 425 Measured Peak Deflections R = max δk Peak Applied Load I = max Pj Poisson ratio. slope of creep compliance curve (m). Referring again to Fig. 6. Density. thus. and damping ratios have only slight influence on the dynamic response of the pavement. Fig. Commonly.42. and Young’s modulus (E). the stiffness of each layer (i. mass densities (r). Dynamic backcalculation procedures Dynamic pavement response models have also been adapted to the forward calculations of backcalculation procedures by several researchers [1. 4. 4 demonstrates the difference between linear and nonlinear static backcalculation techniques (for PIA routine). Actually. Burak Goktepe et al. and damping ratios (b) of each layer. loading levels are not considered in static material behavior and in the related pavement response model. the variations in Poisson’s ratios. Namely. deflection data can be obtained in the time domain for the time domain impulse loads. Fig. In the light of this figure. which is inherent to the nature of actual (in situ) load application. the unknown parameters in a dynamic backcalculation analysis are the complex moduli (G*) and the thickness of the pavements layers. Schematic Representation of dynamic steady-state vibratory load backcalculation. subbase. the time (t) domain data must be transformed to the frequency (u) domain data. mass densities. and in the frequency domain for steady state vibratory loads. 5.

Layer Thickness. Details of impulse load dynamic backcalculation for both cases are explained in Figs. Analytical methods are successful in simulating Deflection Histories R(t) = δk (t) Load Time History I(t) = P (t) Poisson’s ratio.. In essence. E. inverse Fourier transformation should be carried out to compare calculated and measured deflections [16]. analytical and numerical. β) Backward Analysis Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) P (ωj) = I (ωj) Forward Analysis ∆k (G*) RC (ω) = ∆k (G*) *I (ωj) G* → f (m. i. Burak Goktepe et al. ß. In the time domain fitting. ρ. i.426 A. instead of nonlinear. It should be underlined for dynamic backcalculation analyses that the consideration of material behaviors in nonlinear manner drastically increases the computational complexity. Schematic representation of dynamic the time domain fitting for impulse load backcalculation. since computed deflections are in the frequency domain. Therefore. Density. ß. h. the fundamental discrepancies among dynamic backcalculation procedures come from the philosophies behind the utilized forward response models. Density.17. ω) k: Number of sensors Error Criterion Satisfied G* G*<Changes> Fig. m. E. Elastic Modulus and Dynamic Parameters (ν. ρ.16. 7 and 8. ω) k: Number of sensors RC (t) Error Criterion Satisfied G* RC (t) ≈ R PIA G* Fig. for the majority of dynamic backcalculation analyses. E. E. m.e. Furthermore. / Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 Deflection Histories R(t) = δk (t) Load Time History I(t) = P (t) Poisson’s ratio. similar to the static backcalculation methods. Layer Thickness. 8. Elastic Modulus and Dynamic Parameters (ν. possibilities. dynamic pavement (forward) response models fall into two categories depending on the solution methodologies. optimization process of dynamic backcalculation can be performed by parameter identification or genetic algorithm routine [4. related algorithms take linear material behavior into account. h. Forward Analysis ∆k0 (ωj) . Schematic representation of dynamic the frequency domain fitting for impulse load backcalculation.e. β) Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) δk (ωj) δk (ωj) P (ωj) P (ωj) Backward Analysis ∆k (G*) PIA ∆k0 (ωj) ≈ ∆k (G*) G* → f (m. (a) the frequency domain fitting and (b) the time domain fitting. Obviously. 7.37].

discretization of the domain and a methodology based on the calculation of internal forces element by element is obviously computationally expensive. Another analytical method was developed by Nilsson et al.47. nevertheless. It is obvious that this overcomes the computational drawback of FEM for use with inverse problems that requires iterative computations [47. nevertheless. FEM is theoretically a powerful tool for the dynamic analysis of a layered stratum. 9. their solutions were found to be instable with respect to several complications in numerical integrations for continuous analyses as well as robust due to computational complexity for semi-discrete analyses [47. Kausel and Roesset presented both semi-discrete and continuous analyses to solve the equations of motion. Additionally. each layer is represented by one element instead of subdivisions. Hardy and Cebon [64] employed the theory of convolution in numerical computations to characterize the strains developed under moving dynamic loads for varying speeds and frequencies. damping ratio.46. [50] completed their spectral element based forward-backward calculation procedure by considering poroelastic behavior for the base layer.58]. Chang et al.A. Liang and Zhu [45] applied the modified Vlasov model under dynamic conditions comprising an AC layer over Vlasov subgrade. / Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 427 the wave propagation in elastic media. they adopted Burger’s model into spectral element technique to characterize the viscoelastic material behavior with a differential operator. they need to be applied under certain geometric and boundary conditions [10.3. namely PUNCH. Authors also implemented the viscoelastic pavement analysis program named VEROAD [44].63]. [44] involving viscoelastic parameters of AC layer. Basically. Adaptive System Output Error Calculation Input Target Training Parameter Identification Algorithm Error Fig. A basic illustration of an adaptive system is given in Fig.62. UTFWD.47. depth to rigid bottom. while some other researchers employed the above outlined dynamic analysis of Kausel and Roesset [33. adaptive backcalculation. they adopted Burger’s method to characterize the shear modulus and considered linear elastic (frequency independent) bulk modulus. overcome the obstacles related with the complexities in geometric shapes and boundary conditions. in these closed-form solutions. however. Semi-discrete solutions depend on the interpolation of wave propagation in the horizontal direction by considering sublayers with respect to the wavelengths of Rayleigh waves.52]. the two-phased (forward and backward) structure of traditional backcalculation approaches is combined into one step utilizing a supervised learning algorithm. In another notable study. Al-Khoury et al. spectral element method is quite successful in simulating dynamic pavement response as well as making required calculations quickly involving viscoelastic and poroelastic aspects [47–50]. large domains and model sizes should be considered in the model [53]. Several studies used FEM to analyze flexible pavement structure [46. [60]. Continuous solutions are based on the functional description of the wave motion in the time domain and the numerical integration of obtained dynamic equation.47]. Namely. 9. Essentially. On the other hand.48]. they developed layer stiffness matrices by improving the transfer matrix concept introduced by Haskell [56] and generalized the lumped mass method of Lysmer [57]. it usually requires extensive computational effort [10. In the adaptive technique. In this context they utilized the Biot’s theory of wave propagation in a saturated porous stratum. In addition. Therefore. Then. The first efficient analytical solution implemented for the characterization of the wave propagation in layered elastic media was developed by Kausel and Roesset [55]. Therefore. Eventually. they used both Laplace–Hankel transformation and transfer matrix methodology to calculate strains in the time domain [52].53]. numerical methods. Kang calculated surface deflections considering viscoelastic aspects. As a result. Eventually. In order to perform an efficient and precise backcalculation analysis. and it simulates the nonlinear mapping between input and output spaces as a functional approximater. In essence. Liang and Zeng [52] presented an analytical solution technique for the simulation of transient wave propagation based on axisymmetric dynamic loads. In order to overcome this obstacle. Kang [33] implemented several dynamic pavement analyzing programs. Roesset and Shao [59]. Therefore. Adaptive backcalculation procedures The last backcalculation technique. Apart from these. Magnuson [61]. which are commonly identified with FEM. despite the success and the general analysis ability of FEM in the solution of complex problems. the solutions of Kausel and Roesset [55] are based on stiffness matrices establishing the relationship between stresses and strains at the top and bottom of each layer. pavement response to a unit vibratory steadystate load is computed by Green function solutions characterized by means of transcendental functions’ integrals [54]. Consequently. Kang [33] developed a multi-frequency pavement analyzing tool focusing on dynamic Green flexibility influence functions. Apart from these. Fourier superposition is applied to extend the plane stresses and strains to axisymmetric conditions. They considered creep compliance. . In this pioneering study. SCALPOT. and GREEN respectively. Additionally. 3. Basics of adaptive system. those using it must avoid the errors that arise from the reflection of waves at the boundaries of finite elements. In this context. this same group also considered viscoelastic aspects for AC layer to realistically model the flexible pavement system [49]. and fatigue cracking issues in their notable study [45]. an adaptive system is taught by known input-output patterns. In this model. However. Burak Goktepe et al. Al-Khoury et al. is fundamentally different from traditional techniques. utilized axisymmetric layer and halfspace spectral elements to characterize the dynamic behavior of flexible pavements by [47]. the spectral element technique is the combination of FEM with wave propagation basics.

This idea was first introduced by Meier and Rix [8]. several other studies focusing on ANN-based pavement backcalculation models were carried out [11–13. 10a.and (b) ANFIS-based static nonlinear backcalculation.65–67]. A typical ANFIS-based backcalculation procedure is schematically depicted in Fig. fuzzy inference and the adaptation of fuzzy system are not appropriate for large numbers of input-output patterns and detailed input space partitionings. precise . thus. 4. Nevertheless. First of all. underlying material model and mechanical analysis do not exist in ANNbased backcalculation. h Weights <Changes> k j EM ES (b) moduli R = max δk I = max Pj µ. 10. It should be added for adaptive backcalculation that training data may involve either in situ (measured) or synthetic (calculated) pavement moduli. Similarly.ES Error Criterion Satisfied E ∏ ∏ ∏ N N N f f f Σ E Parameters <Changes> k j EM ES : Number of sensors : Number of load levels : In-situ (measured) moduli : Synthetic (calculated) moduli Training Algorithm Error EM . Later. Illustration of (a) ANN.428 A. The performance. An example ANN-based backcalculation model for nonlinear elastic material behavior and static loading is indicated in Fig. Apart from these. h : Number of sensors : Number of load levels : In-situ (measured) moduli : Synthetic (calculated) moduli ) Training Algorithm Error EM . Burak Goktepe et al. Meier and Rix [9] verified the susceptibility of ANN methodology for pavement moduli backcalculation utilizing FWD data. of ANN-based backcalculation is based on the quality and quantity of training data [65]. There are other adaptive learning methodologies that can be used for the backcalculation problem. who applied artificial neural networks (ANN) for the SASW test data inversion and the backcalculation of flexible pavement layer properties. adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) can be utilized to backcalculate pavement moduli. In this context. The training process can be performed by either experimental data to characterize specific test section or with synthetically collected data to inversely simulate the pavement response model. then. they published the complementary article comprising the dynamic aspects and the rigid bottom depth concepts [10]. Successively. The fundamental advantages of adaptive backcalculation methodologies are that they present real-time backcalculation ability and precise analysis results. it is appropriate for the inherent nature of the problem. it can be a good choice for a small amount of training data involving considerable amount of uncertainty [68]. It should be noted that ANN can solely learn the mapping characterized by input–output patterns. therefore.ES Error Criterion Satisfied E Fig.36. However. Evaluations on backcalculation methods It is obvious that dynamic backcalculation analysis is more advantageous than the static approach. neurofuzzy inference can also be employed to backcalculate pavement moduli with existing input-output data expressing the target behavior [13]. / Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 (a) R = max δk E I = max Pj µ. 10b.

adaptive methods are capable of supplying real-time backcalculation and providing accurate outcomes with the help of their outstanding modeling abilities. † The optimization technique is also the complementary issue for a backcalculation analysis.76–78]. However. 5. GA-based optimization produces almost identical outcomes in comparison with least-squares methods.79–81].15– 17. Cebon D. dynamic and viscoelastic pavement response analyses give precise outcomes. Variations in backcalculated pavement layer moduli in LTTP seasonal monitoring sites. STP 1375.16. For this reason. gradient descent. Eventually. Pennsylvania: ASTM Publication. not only peak deformation values.15.33. 63. [2] Briggs RC. † FEM presents generalized problem solving ability. † When the rigid bottom depth is higher than approximately 15m and practical considerations are valid for the problem at hand. where complex geometries and boundary conditions are involved. they are limited in terms of size.70]. Particularly in cases when the depth to the rigid bottom is greater than 12–15 m. † Adaptive backcalculation methods perform real-time backcalculation analyses as a functional mapper. In: Tayabji SD. the efficiency is affected by the optimization methodology employed in the backward analysis performed to match calculated and measured deflections. thus. they must be applied carefully. Moreover. NDT of pavements and backcalculation of moduli: 3. J Transp Eng ASCE 1996.19. range. Therefore. Newton–Raphson.4. the discrepancy between static and dynamic approaches may be assumed to be acceptable [19. GA-based backcalculation is ineffective in terms of computing speed [3. viscoelasticty and poroelasticity can also be considered in spectral element method to obtain more realistic outcomes. the computational expense of this technique makes it tedious to use in backcalculation problems. precise and efficient backcalculation analyses can be performed with the spectral element method. there is no underlying mechanical background in these techniques. the preference of correct optimization algorithm influences speed and precision of the backcalculation analysis. Within this content. but also the entire deflection record is used in the calculations of dynamic pavement response analysis. because of their simplicity and acceptable error ranges. Lukanen EO. the following conclusions were drawn in this study: † With the consideration of the actual traffic loads as well as the material behavior of asphalt concrete. However. Otherwise. p. Therefore.71–75]. Burak Goktepe et al.122:131–9. The spectral element method is probably the most promising forward analysis method for use in backcalculation analyses. pattern searching method (Hooke– Jeeves algorithm). In essence. Nevertheless. to develop a complex and specific pavement model involving three-dimensional variations and nonlinear material properties. and evolutionary computation (GA) were utilized in the developed backcalculation algorithms so far.20. Together with these. the precision of a backcalculation analysis is sensitive to type and coverage of pavement response analysis. Nevertheless. the computational expense of FEM makes it tedious to use in backcalculation problems. / Advances in Engineering Software 37 (2006) 421–431 429 results could be obtained using dynamic approach. Stiffness reductions of flexible pavements due to cumulative fatigue damage. reliability. which is assumed semi-infinite in static analyses. therefore. Apart from the advantage of GA on preventing the local minima problem and derivative-based errors. † The spectral element method is capable of performing both precise as well as fast pavement response analyses.60–63. it has also several obstacles originating from the complexity and the computational expense of dynamic analyses. viscoelastic properties of AC layer can efficiently be considered in dynamic analysis. The hybrid Powel optimization method can be preferred in the optimization process of backcalculation procedures using spectral element analysis [47–50]. several parameter identification techniques (linear least squares. In addition. In order. editors. the FEM approach should be preferred [33. it is necessary to use an optimization technique that is capable of overcoming local minima problems as well as derivative-based errors. Moreover. it is possible to adopt viscoelastic and poroelastic material behaviors into spectral element analysis with small modifications. nonlinear material properties and threedimensional analyzing are possible with FEM. Furthermore. therefore. . static pavement response analysis and resulting backcalculation process may be misleading. can be considered in dynamic model [4.69. This is why they must be applied carefully and cannot be shifted with mechanical approaches such as elastodynamic analysis. and distribution of training data in terms of characterizing the considered behavior. FEM enables the general solution of flexible pavement system subjected to dynamic loads. and Gauss–Newton methods). Conclusions This paper addresses the advances in backcalculation of the mechanical properties of flexible pavements. in order to increase the performance of the backcalculation analysis. 113–28. References [1] Callop AC. static approaches are generally preferred in the majority of pavement backcalculation studies. Lukanen EO. in many problems it is tedious to get all necessary data required for a dynamic analysis.60.35–37. In addition. the static approach can be applied to forward pavement analysis. Special technical publication. It is obvious that these advantages of adaptive backcalculation methods provide significant earnings for pavement engineers in terms of time and money. 2000. In this context.A. Nevertheless. Besides the existing advantages of the dynamic approach. nevertheless. the thickness of subgrade. Consequently. There is no underlying structure of adaptive backcalculation methods to calculate mechanical pavement responses. while also being fast and precise.

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