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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 506464, 14 pages
Research Article

Fractals and Independent Component Analysis for Defect Detection in Bridge Decks

1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA
2Department of Computer Engineering, Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, Ma'an 71111, Jordan
3Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA

Received 5 October 2010; Revised 24 April 2011; Accepted 14 June 2011

Academic Editor: John Mander

Copyright © 2011 Ikhlas Abdel-Qader 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.


We present in this paper a framework for the automatic detection and localization of defects inside bridge decks. Using Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) raw scans, this framework is composed of a feature extraction algorithm using fractals to detect defective regions and a deconvolution algorithm using banded-independent component analysis (ICA) to reduce overlapping between reflections and to estimate the radar waves travel time and depth of defects. Results indicate that the defects' estimated horizontal location and depth falling within 2 cm (76.92% accuracy) and 1 cm (84.62% accuracy) from their actual values.