Life-cycle cost analysis using deterministic and stochastic methods: Conflicting results

Tarek Zayed, Luh Maan Chang, Jon D. Fricker

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Life-cycle cost, analysis is an essential approach to differentiating alternative rehabilitation strategies for steel bridge paint systems. An economic analysis (EA), which is a deterministic method, and the Markov decision process (MDP), which is a stochastic method, were used to carry out the life-cycle cost analysis. These analyses were applied to data from two state Departments of Transportation. The deterioration curves for steel bridge paint condition rating against age were constructed. Different rehabilitation scenarios were proposed for steel bridge paint. The EA and the MDP were used to analyze and differentiate among the proposed rehabilitation scenarios. The results of the EA were different from those of MDP for the two data sets. MDP favored the "do nothing" scenario until the end of paint life and then a complete repainting. EA indicated that the scenario "do spot repairs at state 3 of the paint life" and repeat that until the end of the bridge life was superior. The results were analyzed to determine the reason for the conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bridges, steel
  • Cost analysis
  • Life-cycle cost
  • Painting
  • Stochastic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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