Data-Driven Uncertainty Quantification and Propagation in Structural Dynamics through a Hierarchical Bayesian Framework

12/06/2019
by   Omid Sedehi, et al.
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In the presence of modeling errors, the mainstream Bayesian methods seldom give a realistic account of uncertainties as they commonly underestimate the inherent variability of parameters. This problem is not due to any misconception in the Bayesian framework since it is absolutely robust with respect to the modeling assumptions and the observed data. Rather, this issue has deep roots in users' inability to develop an appropriate class of probabilistic models. This paper bridges this significant gap, introducing a novel Bayesian hierarchical setting, which breaks time-history vibrational responses into several segments so as to capture and identify the variability of inferred parameters over multiple segments. Since computation of the posterior distributions in hierarchical models is expensive and cumbersome, novel marginalization strategies, asymptotic approximations, and maximum a posteriori estimations are proposed and outlined under a computational algorithm aiming to handle both uncertainty quantification and propagation tasks. For the first time, the connection between the ensemble covariance matrix and hyper distribution parameters is characterized through approximate estimations. Experimental and numerical examples are employed to illustrate the efficacy and efficiency of the proposed method. It is observed that, when the segments correspond to various system conditions and input characteristics, the proposed method delivers robust parametric uncertainties with respect to unknown phenomena such as ambient conditions, input characteristics, and environmental factors.

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