Condition prediction and estimation of service life in the presence of data censoring and dependent competing risks

Valentin Donev, Markus Hoffmann
2017 International Journal of Pavement Engineering  
An accurate estimation of service life is of primary interest in pavement management systems limiting the time frame for maintenance and rehabilitation (M&R) treatments. Common condition prediction models are derived by regression analysis at the road network level based on empirical data from periodic condition surveys. If a particular section has not failed prior to the last survey or the condition has improved (e.g. due to treatment), it is considered as censored. If censoring is neglected
more » ... e performance functions, service lives and estimated costs may show substantial bias. The authors who acknowledge this problem have used standard statistical (survival analysis) techniques accounting for censoring. However, any road section may fail due to different but dependent competing failure causes (risks), each leading to treatments. This constitutes a special type of censoring that cannot be addressed with traditional survival analysis methods relying on the assumption of independent censoring. As the number of failure causes usually exceeds one (e.g. fatigue, permanent deformation, thermal cracking), this case is quite common. Moreover, the time until a first failure depends on the sign and degree of correlation between present failure types being modelled by the overall survival function. This paper presents a critical review and comparison of common regression, Markov chain and survival analysis models with and without correlated competing risks based on computer-generated data. Using performance history and distress progression models at the section level in combination with survival analysis improves the accuracy of predictions in comparison. Furthermore, the paper proposes a simultaneous modelling of joint and marginal service life distributions based on copula functions as generalised solution accounting for dependence between competing risks. As the focus of this paper is on condition prediction with censored data, the distress-specific planning and optimisation of treatments will be covered in forthcoming papers. © 2017 the author(s). Published by Informa uK limited, trading as taylor & francis group. this is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons attribution-nonCommercial-noDerivatives license (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
doi:10.1080/10298436.2017.1293264 fatcat:refprzuvu5gsngkxhcqswy2eti