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Using Intelligent Software Agents to Monitor the Structural Health of Highway Bridges



In Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) sensors can provide rich set of data on a bridge health condition. Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is a promising paradigm that allow devices to coordinate and collaborate to effectively measure the health of a structure, whether the goal is to improve spatial resolution, structural resilience, bridge traffic, or perform advanced in-situ analysis. The WSN are generally equipped with a limited power supply, in most cases AAA batteries. Prolonging their operational lifetime is of fundamental concern. Even under the most stringent power management, the sensor nodes have an unattended life of approximately a few months to a year. The sensor can be mounted on very hard to reach areas on the structure, hence it is very difficult and in cases impossible to replenish their batteries. Towards this end, the paper proposes a multi-agent based system to augment the life time of WSN supporting SHMinformed ITS systems. The proposed agent-based approach (AA) consists of a mobile agent (MA) that can traverse the network, i.e., sensor nodes, mounted onto a bridge using multi-hop communication; collecting and aggregate the data, thus eliminating the two major causes of power consumption. These include (a) the direct transmission/broadcast from each sensor node to the sink and (b) redundant sensory data.


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