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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2009, Article ID 809767, 12 pages
Research Article

Nonparametric Binary Recursive Partitioning for Deterioration Prediction of Infrastructure Elements

1School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 5 Iroon Polytechniou Str., Zografou Campus, 157 73 Athens, Greece
2Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3201 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60616, USA

Received 24 February 2009; Revised 3 August 2009; Accepted 12 October 2009

Academic Editor: Samer Madanat

Copyright © 2009 Mariza Pittou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper introduces binary recursive partitioning (BRP) as a method for estimating bridge deck deterioration and treats it as a classification and decision problem. The proposed BRP method is applied to the Indiana bridge inventory database containing 25 years of detailed information on approximately 5,500 bridges on state-maintained highways. Classification trees are separately created for 4 and 2 prediction classes and relatively high degrees of success are achieved for deck condition prediction. The significant variables identified as the most influential include current deck condition and deck age. The proposed method offers an alternative nonparametric approach for bridge deck condition prediction and could be used for cross comparisons of models calibrated using the widely applied parametric approaches.