Traditional methods for seismic damage evaluation require manual extractions of intensity measures (IMs) to properly represent the record-to-record variation of ground motions. Contemporary methods such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for time series classification and seismic damage evaluation face a challenge in training due to a huge task of ground-motion image encoding. Presently, no consensus has been reached on the understanding of the most suitable encoding technique and image size (width × height × channel) for CNN-based seismic damage evaluation. In this study, we propose and develop a new image encoding technique based on time-series segmentation (TS) to transform acceleration (A), velocity (V), and displacement (D) ground motion records into a three-channel AVD image of the ground motion event with a pre-defined size of width × height. The proposed TS technique is compared with two time-series image encoding techniques, namely recurrence plot (RP) and wavelet transform (WT). The CNN trained through the TS technique is also compared with the IM-based machine learning approach. The CNN-based feature extraction has comparable classification performance to the IM-based approach. WT 1,000 × 100 results in the highest 79.5% accuracy in classification while TS 100 × 100 with a classification accuracy of 76.8% is most computationally efficient. Both the WT 1,000 × 100 and TS 100 × 100 three-channel AVD image encoding methods are promising for future studies of CNN-based seismic damage evaluation.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Third Research Center/Lab

INSPIRE - University Transportation Center


Financial support to complete this study was provided in part by the US Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology under the auspices of Mid-America Transportation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Grant No. 00059709). Partial support for this research was received from the Missouri University of Science and Technology Intelligent Systems Center, the Mary K. Finley Missouri Endowment, the National Science Foundation, the Lifelong Learning Machines program from DARPA/Microsystems Technology Office, the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), and the Leonard Wood Institute; and it was accomplished under Cooperative Agreement Numbers W911NF-18-2-0260 and W911NF-14-2-0034.

Keywords and Phrases

convolutional neural networks; ground motion record; image encoding; seismic damage classification; time-series image

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Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Publication Date

29 Apr 2021