(1)
Where w is the segment length, is the incremental step
and N is the total number of segments in the sample.
The effects of the window width and the incremental step
(overlap) on the moving RMS of nonstationary vibration
signals have been illustrated by Rouillard [10]. It shows that
care must be taken in selecting the parameters for computing
the RMS time history of nonstationary signals.
In order to validate the proposed model, a number of
sample vibration records were collected from a wide range of
vehicles and routes. The vibration data were collected using
selfcontained data recorders (Saver by Lansmont)
configured to record vibrations for predetermined subrecord
lengths of 8 seconds at a sampling rate of 1024 Hz. The
recorders were configured to initiate recording at specific
periods varying from 9 seconds to one minute. A total of
thirteen measurements were undertaken using various
vehicles including small utility, vans, rigid trucks and
semitrailers with various suspension types and payloads.
Routes included poorly maintained local roads, country
roads, urban roads, and highways located in Victoria,
Australia and Spain as shown in Table 1. The RMS time
history of each vibration record was computed using (1) with
w = 8 seconds and no overlap ( = w + 1/fs, where fs =
sampling frequency in Hz). A typical example of a vibration
record along with the moving RMS is shown in Fig. 1. It also
Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2007 Vol II
WCE 2007, July 2  4, 2007, London, U.K.
ISBN:9789889867126 WCE 2007
includes a plot the moving crest factor which indicates the
nonstationary character of the process; for a Gaussian
process of 8192 samples, the likelihood that the crest factor
exceeds 3.65 is 0.012%. This is a strong indication that the
data recorded are nonGaussian and nonstationary [10].
Table 1. Summary of measured vibration record parameters.
Record ID Vehicle type & load Country Route Type
DATA A Utility vehicle (1 Tonne cap.). Load:
< 5% cap.
Australia Suburban streets
DATA B Prime mover + Semi trailer (Air ride
susp.). Load: 90% cap.
Australia Country roads
DATA C Transport van (700 kg cap.). Load:
60% cap.
Australia Suburban streets
DATA D Transport van (700 kg cap.). Load:
60% cap.
Australia Main suburban
hwy
DATA E Transport van (700 kg cap.). Load:
60% cap.
Australia Motorway
DATA F Prime mover + Semi trailer (Leaf
spring susp.). Load: < 5% cap.
Australia Country roads
DATA G Tipper truck (16 Tonnes cap., Air
ride susp.). Load: 25% capacity.
Australia Country roads
DATA H Small flat bet truck (1 Tonne cap.,
Leaf spring susp.). Load <5% cap.
Australia Suburban streets
DATA J Flat bed truck (5 Tonnes cap., Leaf
spring susp.). Load >95% cap.
Australia Country roads
DATA K Sedan car. Load: 1 passenger Australia Suburban streets
DATA L Prime mover + Semi trailer (Air ride
susp.). Load: 60% cap.
Spain Motorway
DATA M Prime mover + Semi trailer (Air ride
susp.). Load: 20% cap.
Spain Motorway
DATA N Prime mover + Semi trailer (Leaf
spring susp.). Load: 10% cap.
Spain Motorway
DATA O Prime mover + Semi trailer (Leaf
spring susp.). Load: < 1% cap.
Spain Motorway
The Probability Density Function (PDF) of the RMS time
history of each of the thirteen vibration records was
computed with the aim of developing a generic mathematical
model that can be used to characterise the statistical
characteristics of the process regardless of vehicle type,
payload or route.
A range of statistical distributions were studied and a
model given in (3) was developed, based on the
threeparameter Weibull distribution given in (2).
( )
0 1
0
0
x x
x x
P x e x x
 

\ .
 
=

\ .
(2)
The proposed modified Weibull distribution model was
developed to afford additional control over various aspects of
the shape of the distribution function. It includes an exponent
parameter, , which enables the control of the slope of the
righthand tail of the distribution and increases the scope of
the model for characterising a wider range of distribution
functions. The model, given in (3), was found to be generic
enough to be able to produce a range of wellknown
distributions for which the parameters are given in Table 2.
( )
 
 
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0 , //
// ,
,
i i
x x
i i
i
x x x x
P x
x x
e x x x x
x x
where
 

\ .
 
+

\ .
  (
 
 = (


\ . (
\ .
(3)
Where x is the moving RMS, , , and x
0
are the modified
Weibull parameters and x
i
is the left hand domain limit.
(Influence of parameter)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
x
P
(
x
)
(Influence of parameter)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
x
P
(
x
)
= 0.75
= 3.2
= 0.75
= 15
(Influence of parameter)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
P
(
x
)
(Influence of x
o
parameter)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
x
P
(
x
)
= 0.75
= 15
X
0
= 0 X
0
= 2. 25
(Influence of parameter)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
x
P
(
x
)
(Influence of parameter)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
x
P
(
x
)
= 0.75
= 3.2
= 0.75
= 15
(Influence of parameter)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
P
(
x
)
(Influence of x
o
parameter)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
x
P
(
x
)
= 0.75
= 15
X
0
= 0 X
0
= 2. 25
Figure 2. Influence of parameters on the proposed
fourparameter modified Weibull distribution.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2007 Vol II
WCE 2007, July 2  4, 2007, London, U.K.
ISBN:9789889867126 WCE 2007
Table 2. Parameters values for typical distributions.
The singleparameter statistics for the model, namely, the
mean, , the median, mdn, the standard deviation, , the
skewness, (Sk) and the kurtosis, Kt, were derived and are
given as:
  1
0
x = +
(4)
0 0
1
, ,
2
i
mdn x x x
( (
   
= ( (
 
\ . \ . ( (
(5)
( )
( )
 
2 2
2 2 2 2
0 0
2
E x
where E x x x
=
= +
(6)
( ) ( )
( )
   
3 2 3
3
3 2 3 3 2 2 3
0 0 0
1
3 2
3 3 2
Sk E x E x
where E x x x x
(
= =
= + +
(7)
( ) ( ) ( )
( )
     
 
4 3 2 2 4
4
4 3 2 4 4 3 2 2 3 4
0 0 0 0
1
4 6 3
4 6 4 3 ,
,
,
j i o
j
i o
Kt E x E x E x
where E x x x x x
x x
and
x x
+
(
= +
= + + +
(
 
(

\ .
(
=
(
 
(

\ .
(
(8)
In the case of the RMS distribution, the left hand domain
limit, x
i
, was chosen as greater than zero since the RMS time
history is, by definition, always positive. For the purpose of
this study, in which only rigid body vibrations are of interest,
x
i
= x
o
. This has the effect of discounting the sustained,
residual low level vibrations that are not caused by road
pavement interactions [10]. Therefore (3) can be written as
follows, to characterise the moving RMS PDF of road vehicle
vibrations:
( )
 
 
0
0
1
0
0
0 ,
,
x x
x x
P x
x x
e x x
 

\ .
 
+

( \ .
(9)
The influence of each of the four parameters on the shape
of the distribution function are illustrated in Fig. 2 which
shows that each parameter alters different aspects of the
distribution shape.
Further analyses, undertaken to investigate the
crosscorrelation between the parameters, showed that there
is no significant interparameter dependence.
_ ? error error min <
Random initial conditions
1 (1)
1 (1)
2 (1)
0 1 (1)
i
i
i
oi
rand
rand
rand
x rand
= +
= +
= +
= +
Matlab function to fit an equation to a data
by least squares optimisation
  ( ) ' _ ',' , , , ', '[ ]'
o
Inline Eq Model x Datato fit
[ ] Datato fit
Least squares fit
  , , ,
o
x
S
0
, , 0 0 ? and x >
Calculate statistic parameters
for the model
1
2
3
4
5
_
_
_
_
_
model_sp model mean
model_sp model median
model_sp model std
model_sp model Sk
model_sp model Kt
=
=
=
=
=
Calculate the error of the statistic parameters
( )
5
1
2
5
1
1
_
5
_
_
5
_ _
i i
i i
i
i
model_sp data_sp
mean error
data_sp
model_sp mean error
std error
error mean error std error
=
=
=
= +
n=n+1
n=0
max_iter
k, , error_min
Best fit
  , , ,
o
x
? n max_iter <
_ _
0
error min k error min
n
=
=
E
False
True
False
True
True
_ ? error error min <
Random initial conditions
1 (1)
1 (1)
2 (1)
0 1 (1)
i
i
i
oi
rand
rand
rand
x rand
= +
= +
= +
= +
Matlab function to fit an equation to a data
by least squares optimisation
  ( ) ' _ ',' , , , ', '[ ]'
o
Inline Eq Model x Datato fit
[ ] Datato fit
Least squares fit
  , , ,
o
x
S
0
, , 0 0 ? and x >
Calculate statistic parameters
for the model
1
2
3
4
5
_
_
_
_
_
model_sp model mean
model_sp model median
model_sp model std
model_sp model Sk
model_sp model Kt
=
=
=
=
=
Calculate the error of the statistic parameters
( )
5
1
2
5
1
1
_
5
_
_
5
_ _
i i
i i
i
i
model_sp data_sp
mean error
data_sp
model_sp mean error
std error
error mean error std error
=
=
=
= +
n=n+1
n=0
max_iter
k, , error_min
Best fit
  , , ,
o
x
? n max_iter <
_ _
0
error min k error min
n
=
=
E
False
True
False
True
True
Figure 3. Algorithm for optimisation of the fit based on the errors of the five statistics parameters.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2007 Vol II
WCE 2007, July 2  4, 2007, London, U.K.
ISBN:9789889867126 WCE 2007
III. RESULTS
A computer program (coded in Matlab) was developed
to determine the optimum parameter values that yield the
best fit for the proposed model with respect to the PDF of
measured vibration data. Results using the sumofsquared
error (least squares) optimisation were found to produce
unstable results. This was attributed to the relatively large
number (four) of independent parameters which was found
to achieve least square errors for several combinations of
parameter values. In order to address this difficulty, code
was modified (Fig. 3) to include optimisation based on the
mean and standard deviation of the errors between the fitted
and measured data for five statistical parameters namely the
mean, median, standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis.
This curve fitting algorithm was used to subject the
proposed fourparameter modified Weibull model to
validation tests using all thirteen vibration records (Table 1)
and was found to offer good agreement as shown in Fig. 4
which shows four typical examples.
The goodness of fit between the distribution of the
measured data and the model are best revealed graphically as
shown in Fig. 5 which shows plots of the main statistical
parameters for all thirteen cases. It can be seen that very
good agreement is achieved (R
2
= 0.99) for the first and
second order statistics (mean, median and standard
deviation) while reasonably good agreement is achieved (R
2
= 0.96) for the third and fourth order statistics, represented
here by the skewness and Kurtosis.
The analysis of all thirteen vibration records show that the
model is capable of representing RMS distributions
consisting of various values of kurtosis, skewness and
standard deviations as shown in Fig. 5.
IV. CONCLUSIONS
This paper has presented the initial results of a study
aimed at improving the method by which the rigid body
vibrations produced by road transport vehicles are
characterised. Vibration data, collected from various vehicle
types and routes in Spain and Australia, was used to develop
and validate a mathematical model, based on the Weibull
distribution, to describe the probability density function of
the moving RMS time histories of the process. The paper has
addressed the limitations of the average power spectral
density (PSD) and explains why the average PSD is not
always adequate as the sole descriptor of road vehicle
vibrations as the process generally tends to be nonstationary
and nonGaussian.
Data L
(Air Ride  Load  Highway)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
1.4
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5
RMS (m/s
2
)
P
(
R
M
S
)
P(RMS) Data L P(RMS) Fit Mean Data
Mean Fit Median Data Median Fit
Data / Fit: 1.38 / 1.43
Mdn Data / Fit: 1.33 / 1.36
Data / Fit: 0.38 / 0.37
Sk Data / Fit: 1.03 / 1.10
Kt Data / Fit: 5.03 / 4.68
/ Data / Fit: 0.27 / 0.26
= 0.364
= 1.198
= 2.287
x
o
= 0.829
Data F
(Leaf Spring Truck  No Load  Local Roads)
0.00
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.10
0.12
0.14
0.16
0.18
0.20
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
RMS (m/s
2
)
P
(
R
M
S
)
P(RMS) Data F P(RMS) Fit Mean Data
Mean Fit Median Data Median Fit
Data / Fit: 7.72 / 7.48
Mdn Data / Fit: 7.27 / 7.197
Data / Fit: 2.82 / 2.70
Sk Data / Fit: 0.68 / 0.66
Kt Data / Fit: 3.10 / 3.61
/ Data / Fit: 0.37 / 0.36
= 1.789
= 1.182
= 6.489
x
o
= 0.008
Data N
(Leaf Spring  Load  Highway)
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5
RMS (m/s
2
)
P
(
R
M
S
)
P(RMS) Data N P(RMS) Fit Mean Data
Mean Fit Median Data Median Fit
Data / Fit: 2.59 / 2.70
Mdn Data / Fit: 2.52 / 2.59
Data / Fit: 0.71 / 0.77
Sk Data / Fit: 1.03 / 1.15
Kt Data / Fit: 6.51 / 5.29
/ Data / Fit: 0.27 / 0.25
= 0.001
= 0.452
= 11.6
x
o
= 1.187
Data O
(Leaf Spring  No Load  Highway)
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
RMS (m/s
2
)
P
(
R
M
S
)
P(RMS) Data O P(RMS) Fit Mean Data
Mean Fit Median Data Median Fit
Data / Fit: 3.73 / 4.13
Mdn Data / Fit: 3.27 / 3.54
Data / Fit: 1.99 / 2.12
Sk Data / Fit: 2.75 / 2.50
Kt Data / Fit: 15.15 / 14.70
/ Data / Fit: 0.54 / 0.51
= 0.001
= 0.345
= 4.460
x
o
= 1.665
Data L
(Air Ride  Load  Highway)
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
1.4
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5
RMS (m/s
2
)
P
(
R
M
S
)
P(RMS) Data L P(RMS) Fit Mean Data
Mean Fit Median Data Median Fit
Data / Fit: 1.38 / 1.43
Mdn Data / Fit: 1.33 / 1.36
Data / Fit: 0.38 / 0.37
Sk Data / Fit: 1.03 / 1.10
Kt Data / Fit: 5.03 / 4.68
/ Data / Fit: 0.27 / 0.26
= 0.364
= 1.198
= 2.287
x
o
= 0.829
Data F
(Leaf Spring Truck  No Load  Local Roads)
0.00
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.10
0.12
0.14
0.16
0.18
0.20
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
RMS (m/s
2
)
P
(
R
M
S
)
P(RMS) Data F P(RMS) Fit Mean Data
Mean Fit Median Data Median Fit
Data / Fit: 7.72 / 7.48
Mdn Data / Fit: 7.27 / 7.197
Data / Fit: 2.82 / 2.70
Sk Data / Fit: 0.68 / 0.66
Kt Data / Fit: 3.10 / 3.61
/ Data / Fit: 0.37 / 0.36
= 1.789
= 1.182
= 6.489
x
o
= 0.008
Data N
(Leaf Spring  Load  Highway)
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5
RMS (m/s
2
)
P
(
R
M
S
)
P(RMS) Data N P(RMS) Fit Mean Data
Mean Fit Median Data Median Fit
Data / Fit: 2.59 / 2.70
Mdn Data / Fit: 2.52 / 2.59
Data / Fit: 0.71 / 0.77
Sk Data / Fit: 1.03 / 1.15
Kt Data / Fit: 6.51 / 5.29
/ Data / Fit: 0.27 / 0.25
= 0.001
= 0.452
= 11.6
x
o
= 1.187
Data O
(Leaf Spring  No Load  Highway)
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
RMS (m/s
2
)
P
(
R
M
S
)
P(RMS) Data O P(RMS) Fit Mean Data
Mean Fit Median Data Median Fit
Data / Fit: 3.73 / 4.13
Mdn Data / Fit: 3.27 / 3.54
Data / Fit: 1.99 / 2.12
Sk Data / Fit: 2.75 / 2.50
Kt Data / Fit: 15.15 / 14.70
/ Data / Fit: 0.54 / 0.51
= 0.001
= 0.345
= 4.460
x
o
= 1.665
Figure 4. Validation of fourparameter modified Weibull
model for four typical cases
Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2007 Vol II
WCE 2007, July 2  4, 2007, London, U.K.
ISBN:9789889867126 WCE 2007
The paper adopts an alternative analysis method, based on
the statistical distribution of the moving rootmeansquare
(RMS) vibrations, as a supplementary indicator of overall
ride quality. The paper proposes a single mathematical
model that can accurately describe the statistical character of
the random vibrations generated by road vehicles in general.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Experimental Data
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
K
u
r
t
o
s
i
s
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
S
k
e
w
n
e
s
s
Kurtosis Skewness
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
l
a
t
i
o
n
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
la
t
io
n
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Experimental Data, RMS (m/s
2
)
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
R
M
S
(
m
/
s
2
)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
(
m
/
s
2
)
Mean Median Std. Deviation
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
l
a
t
i
o
n
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
la
t
io
n
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Experimental Data
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
K
u
r
t
o
s
i
s
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
S
k
e
w
n
e
s
s
Kurtosis Skewness
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
l
a
t
i
o
n
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
la
t
io
n
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Experimental Data
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
K
u
r
t
o
s
i
s
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
S
k
e
w
n
e
s
s
Kurtosis Skewness
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
l
a
t
i
o
n
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
la
t
io
n
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Experimental Data, RMS (m/s
2
)
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
R
M
S
(
m
/
s
2
)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
(
m
/
s
2
)
Mean Median Std. Deviation
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
l
a
t
i
o
n
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
la
t
io
n
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Experimental Data, RMS (m/s
2
)
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
R
M
S
(
m
/
s
2
)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
F
i
t
D
a
t
a
,
(
m
/
s
2
)
Mean Median Std. Deviation
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
l
a
t
i
o
n
1
:
1
c
o
r
r
e
la
t
io
n
Figure 5. Goodness of fit plots for the main statistical
parameters.
The proposed modified Weibull distribution model was
developed to afford additional control over various aspects
of the shape of the distribution function. The model was
found to be generic enough to be able to produce a range of
wellknown distributions. Curve fitting results using the
sumofsquared error (least squares) optimisation were
found to produce unstable results which required inclusion
of the mean, median, standard deviation, skewness, and
kurtosis in the optimisation algorithm. Validation tests using
all thirteen sample vibration records and was found to offer
good agreement in general. The paper also shows how the
model is capable of accurately describing the statistical
parameters of the process namely the mean, median,
standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis.
This result is relevant not only for the characterisation of
ride quality but also for the accurate synthesis of road vehicle
vibrations in the laboratory. The results can be used to assist
in developing a novel method for simulating nonstationary
(modulated) vibration in the laboratory. The RMS
distribution function can be used to create an RMS level
schedule that will enable the synthesis of random vibrations
with varying RMS level to better represent the road transport
vibration process.
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Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2007 Vol II
WCE 2007, July 2  4, 2007, London, U.K.
ISBN:9789889867126 WCE 2007