Document Type



Reliability-based design optimization (RBDO) is frequently used to determine optimal structural geometry and material characteristics that can best meet performance goals while considering uncertainties. In this study, the effectiveness of RBDO to develop a rating load model for a set of bridge structures is explored, as well as the use of an alternate Best Selection procedure that requires substantially less computational effort. The specific problem investigated is the development of a vehicular load model for use in bridge rating, where the objective of the optimization is to minimize the variation in reliability index across different girder types and bridge geometries. Moment and shear limit states are considered, where girder resistance and load random variables are included in the reliability analysis. It was found that the proposed Best Selection approach could be used to develop rating model as nearly as effective as an ideal RBDO solution but with significantly less computational effort. Both approaches significantly reduced the range and coefficient of variation of reliability index among the bridge cases considered.


Civil Engineering | Transportation Engineering


This is the Final Draft version, submitted to ASCE after peer review and prior to copyediting or other ASCE production activities, of an article appearing in the Journal of Bridge Engineering. This material may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This material may be found at