Investigation of Effects of Time Preference and Risk Perception on Life-Cycle Management of Civil Infrastructure

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ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems

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Civil infrastructure systems have two essential characteristics: long service life and low probability of failure. Under these circumstances, life-cycle management (LCM) of civil infrastructure involves time preference of decision-makers on potential gains associated with maintenance actions and the perception of low probability (i.e., risk perception). In the decision-making process, decision-makers are likely to discount the desirability of decision alternatives involving future gains and low probabilities. This attitude is usually referred to as delay and probability discounting. This paper presents a novel approach for the LCM of civil infrastructure considering delay and probability discounting. The model and parameters used in this approach are obtained from a survey conducted among practicing civil engineers. The survey involved low probabilities and long time horizons commonly encountered in the field of civil engineering. The proposed approach is applied to the LCM of an existing highway bridge. It is found that probability discounting can reflect the risk aversion in the decision-making process, while the delay discounting may hinder timely maintenance actions, leading to higher life-cycle risk of civil infrastructure.



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