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  1. Abstract

    In this paper, a new framework is proposed for monitoring the dynamic performance of bridges using three different camera placements and a few visual data processing techniques at low cost and high efficiency. A deep learning method validated by an optical flow approach for motion tracking is included in the framework. To verify it, videos taken by stationary cameras of two shaking table tests were processed at first. Then, the vibrations of six pedestrian bridges were measured using structure-mounted, remote, and drone-mounted cameras, respectively. Two techniques, displacement and frequency subtractions, are applied to remove systematic motions of cameras and to capture the natural frequencies of the tested structures. Measurements on these bridges were compared with the data from wireless accelerometers and structural analysis. Influences of critical parameters for camera setting and data processing, such as video frame rates, data window size, and data sampling rates, were also studied carefully. The research results show that the vibrations and frequencies of structures on the shaking tables and existing bridges can be captured accurately with the proposed framework. These camera placements and data processing techniques can be successfully used for monitoring their dynamic performance.

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  2. Robust Mask R-CNN (Mask Regional Convolutional Neural Network) methods are proposed and tested for automatic detection of cracks on structures or their components that may be damaged during extreme events, such as earthquakes. We curated a new dataset with 2,021 labeled images for training and validation and aimed to find end-to-end deep neural networks for crack detection in the field. With data augmentation and parameters fine-tuning, Path Aggregation Network (PANet) with spatial attention mechanisms and High- resolution Network (HRNet) are introduced into Mask R-CNNs. The tests on three public datasets with low- or high-resolution images demonstrate that the proposed methods can achieve a big improvement over alternative networks, so the proposed method may be sufficient for crack detection for a variety of scales in real applications. 
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  3. This paper presents a few comprehensive experimental studies for automated Structural Damage Detection (SDD) in extreme events using deep learning methods for processing 2D images. In the first study, a 152-layer Residual network (ResNet) is utilized to classify multiple classes in eight SDD tasks, which include identification of scene levels, damage levels, and material types. The proposed ResNet achieved high accuracy for each task while the positions of the damage are not identifiable. In the second study, the existing ResNet and a segmentation network (U-Net) are combined into a new pipeline, cascaded networks, for categorizing and locating structural damage. The results show that the accuracy of damage detection is significantly improved compared to only using a segmentation network. In the third and fourth studies, end-to-end networks are developed and tested as a new solution to directly detect cracks and spalling in the image collections of recent large earthquakes. One of the proposed networks can achieve an accuracy above 67 .6% for all tested images at various scales and resolutions, and shows its robustness for these human-free detection tasks. As a preliminary field study, we applied the proposed method to detect damage in a concrete structure that was tested to study its progressive collapse performance. The experiments indicate that these solutions for automatic detection of structural damage using deep learning methods are feasible and promising. The training datasets and codes will be made available for the public upon the publication of this paper.

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