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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 31, Number 3, March 2023 , pages 247-257

Optimal sensor placement for structural health monitoring based on deep reinforcement learning
Xianghao Meng, Haoyu Zhang, Kailiang Jia, Hui Li and Yong Huang

    In structural health monitoring of large-scale structures, optimal sensor placement plays an important role because of the high cost of sensors and their supporting instruments, as well as the burden of data transmission and storage. In this study, a vibration sensor placement algorithm based on deep reinforcement learning (DRL) is proposed, which can effectively solve non-convex, high-dimensional, and discrete combinatorial sensor placement optimization problems. An objective function is constructed to estimate the quality of a specific vibration sensor placement scheme according to the modal assurance criterion (MAC). Using this objective function, a DRL-based algorithm is presented to determine the optimal vibration sensor placement scheme. Subsequently, we transform the sensor optimal placement process into a Markov decision process and employ a DRLbased optimization algorithm to maximize the objective function for optimal sensor placement. To illustrate the applicability of the proposed method, two examples are presented: a 10-story braced frame and a sea-crossing bridge model. A comparison study is also performed with a genetic algorithm and particle swarm algorithm. The proposed DRL-based algorithm can effectively solve the discrete combinatorial optimization problem for vibration sensor placements and can produce superior performance compared with the other two existing methods.
Key Words
    deep reinforcement learning; discrete combinatorial optimization; modal assurance criterion; sensor placement; structural health monitoring
(1) Key Lab of Structures Dynamic Behavior and Control of the Ministry of Education, School of Civil Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China;
(2) Key Lab of Smart Prevention and Mitigation of Civil Engineering Disasters of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China.

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