Structural damage detection based on variational Bayesian inference and delayed rejection adaptive Metropolis algorithm

Xiaoyou Wang, Rongrong Hou, Yong Xia, Xiaoqing Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Existing studies on sparse Bayesian learning for structural damage detection usually assume that the posterior probability density functions follow standard distributions which facilitate to circumvent the intractable integration problem of the evidence by means of numerical sampling or analytical derivation. Moreover, the uncertainties of each mode are usually quantified as a common parameter to simplify the calculation. These assumptions may not be realistic in practice. This study proposes a sparse Bayesian method for structural damage detection suitable for standard and nonstandard probability distributions. The uncertainty corresponding to each mode is assumed as different. Variational Bayesian inference is developed and the posterior probability density functions of each unknown are individually derived. The parameters are found to follow the gamma distribution, whereas the distribution of the damage index cannot be directly obtained because of the nonlinear relationship in its posterior probability density function. The delayed rejection adaptive Metropolis algorithm is then adopted to generate numerical samples of the damage index. The coupled damage index and parameters in the variational Bayesian inference are successively calculated via an iterative process. A laboratory-tested frame is utilised to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. The results indicate that the sparse damage can be accurately detected. The proposed method has the advantage of high accuracy and broad applicability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural Health Monitoring
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020


  • Damage detection
  • delayed rejection adaptive Metropolis algorithm
  • sparse Bayesian learning
  • uncertainty
  • variational Bayesian inference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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