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  1. Abstract

    Successful modeling of degradation data is of great importance for both accurate reliability assessment and effective maintenance decision‐making. Many of existing degradation performance modeling approaches either assume a homogeneous population of units or characterize a heterogeneous population with some restrictive assumptions, such as pre‐specifying the number of sub‐populations. This paper proposes a Bayesian heterogeneous degradation performance modeling framework to relax the conventional modeling assumptions. Specifically, a Bayesian non‐parametric model formulation and learning algorithm are proposed to characterize the historical degradation data of a heterogeneous population of units with an unknown number of homogeneous sub‐populations and allowing the joint model estimation and sub‐population number identification. Based on the off‐line population‐level model, an on‐line individual‐level degradation model with sequential model updating is further developed to improve remaining useful life prediction of individual units with sparse data. A real case study using the heterogeneous degradation data of deteriorating roads is provided to illustrate the proposed approach and demonstrate its validity.

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  2. In the development of sustainable and resilient infrastructures to adapt to the rapidly changing natural and social environment, the complexity of the dependencies and interdependencies within critical infrastructure systems need to be fully understood, as they affect various components of risk and lead to cascading failures. Water and road infrastructures are highly co-located but often managed and maintained separately. One important aspect of their interdependence is the impact of vehicle loading on a road on underlying water pipes. The existing studies lack a comprehensive evaluation of this subject and do not consider possible critical failure scenarios. This study constructed finite element models to analyze the responses of buried water pipes to vehicle loads under an array of scenarios, including various loads, pipe materials, pipe dimensions, and possible extreme conditions, such as corrosion in pipes and a sinkhole under the pipe. The results showed negligible impact of heavy trucks on buried water pipes. The pipe deflection under a maximum allowable truck load in the worst condition was still within the allowable range specified in standards such as those from the American Water Works Association. This implies that the impact of heavy vehicles on water pipes may not need to be considered in the context of the interdependency between water and road infrastructures, which leads to a more unidirectional dependency between these two infrastructures. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. null (Ed.)
    Background The natural history of disease in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remained obscure during the early pandemic. Aim Our objective was to estimate epidemiological parameters of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and assess the relative infectivity of the incubation period. Methods We estimated the distributions of four epidemiological parameters of SARS-CoV-2 transmission using a large database of COVID-19 cases and potential transmission pairs of cases, and assessed their heterogeneity by demographics, epidemic phase and geographical region. We further calculated the time of peak infectivity and quantified the proportion of secondary infections during the incubation period. Results The median incubation period was 7.2 (95% confidence interval (CI): 6.9‒7.5) days. The median serial and generation intervals were similar, 4.7 (95% CI: 4.2‒5.3) and 4.6 (95% CI: 4.2‒5.1) days, respectively. Paediatric cases < 18 years had a longer incubation period than adult age groups (p = 0.007). The median incubation period increased from 4.4 days before 25 January to 11.5 days after 31 January (p < 0.001), whereas the median serial (generation) interval contracted from 5.9 (4.8) days before 25 January to 3.4 (3.7) days after. The median time from symptom onset to discharge was also shortened from 18.3 before 22 January to 14.1 days after. Peak infectivity occurred 1 day before symptom onset on average, and the incubation period accounted for 70% of transmission. Conclusion The high infectivity during the incubation period led to short generation and serial intervals, necessitating aggressive control measures such as early case finding and quarantine of close contacts. 
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