An autonomous system for maintenance scheduling data-rich complex infrastructure: Fusing the railways’ condition, planning and cost

Isidro Durazo-Cardenas*, Andrew Starr, Christopher J. Turner, Ashutosh Tiwari, Leigh Kirkwood, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Antonios Tsourdos, Essam Shehab, Paul Baguley, Yuchun Xu, Christos Emmanouilidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

National railways are typically large and complex systems. Their network infrastructure usually includes extended track sections, bridges, stations and other supporting assets. In recent years, railways have also become a data-rich environment. Railway infrastructure assets have a very long life, but inherently degrade. Interventions are necessary but they can cause lateness, damage and hazards. Every day, thousands of discrete maintenance jobs are scheduled according to time and urgency. Service disruption has a direct economic impact. Planning for maintenance can be complex, expensive and uncertain. Autonomous scheduling of maintenance jobs is essential. The design strategy of a novel integrated system for automatic job scheduling is presented; from concept formulation to the examination of the data to information transitional level interface, and at the decision making level. The underlying architecture configures high-level fusion of technical and business drivers; scheduling optimized intervention plans that factor-in cost impact and added value. A proof of concept demonstrator was developed to validate the system principle and to test algorithm functionality. It employs a dashboard for visualization of the system response and to present key information. Real track incident and inspection datasets were analyzed to raise degradation alarms that initiate the automatic scheduling of maintenance tasks. Optimum scheduling was realized through data analytics and job sequencing heuristic and genetic algorithms, taking into account specific cost & value inputs from comprehensive task cost modelling. Formal face validation was conducted with railway infrastructure specialists and stakeholders. The demonstrator structure was found fit for purpose with logical component relationships, offering further scope for research and commercial exploitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-253
Number of pages20
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Volume89
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Crown Copyright © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).

Keywords

  • Condition-based maintenance
  • Cost engineering
  • Data fusion
  • Data-driven asset management of rail infrastructure
  • Intelligent maintenance
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Systems design and implementation
  • Systems integration

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An autonomous system for maintenance scheduling data-rich complex infrastructure: Fusing the railways’ condition, planning and cost'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Durazo-Cardenas, I., Starr, A., Turner, C. J., Tiwari, A., Kirkwood, L., Bevilacqua, M., Tsourdos, A., Shehab, E., Baguley, P., Xu, Y., & Emmanouilidis, C. (2018). An autonomous system for maintenance scheduling data-rich complex infrastructure: Fusing the railways’ condition, planning and cost. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 89, 234-253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trc.2018.02.010