Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures

We present a time-series-based algorithm to identify structural damage in the structure. The method is in the context of non-model-based approaches; hence, it eliminates the need of any representative numerical model of the structure to be built. The method starts by partitioning the state space into a finite number of subsets which are mutually exclusive and exhaustive and each subset is identified by a distinct symbol. Partitioning is performed based on a maximum entropy approach which takes into account the sparsity and distribution of information in the time series. After constructing the symbol space, the time series data are uniquely transformed from the state space into the constructed symbol space to create the symbol sequences. Symbol sequences are the simplified abstractions of the complex system and describe the evolution of the system. Each symbol sequence is statistically characterized by its entropy which is obtained based on the probability of occurrence of the symbols in the sequence. As a consequence of damage occurrence, the entropy of the symbol sequences changes; this change is implemented to define a damage indicative feature. The method shows promising results using data from two experimental case studies subject to varying excitation. The first specimen is a reinforced concrete jack arch which replicates one of the major structural components of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the second specimen is a three-story frame structure model which has been tested at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The method not only could successfully identify the presence of damage but also has potential to localize it.