Date released: September 4, 2014
Sector: Infrastructures & Utilities
GlobVision is a specialized data sciences and software business with specific expertise in Intelligent Structural Health Monitoring and is the creator and supplier of IntelliBRIDGE, a comprehensive system for bridge safety data management, performance monitoring and analysis. IntelliBRIDGE was adapted from the highly successful IntelliDAM software system designed by GlobVision through extensive collaborations with BC Hydro and Hydro-Québec and is currently in use both in Canada and abroad. IntelliDAM is the tool of choice for 75% of the Scandinavian dam owner/operators.
IntelliBRIDGE greatly simplifies accessing and storing data from multiple sources and formats and provides intuitive data visualization capabilities. IntelliBRIDGE is an essential tool for real-time monitoring and provides the basis for ensuring the health and safety of bridges. IntelliBRIDGE assists users to extract complex and detailed information hidden in the instrumentation data in order to enhance the performance of operations and decision-making, to ensure bridge safety. IntelliBRIDGE drastically reduces the time required to perform monitoring activities, thereby allowing a better utilization of available man-hours and skills to monitor structures.
Our approach to data analysis, which has led to the development and integration of various advanced data analysis functions within IntelliBRIDGE, is centered on one brief statement: Data speaks for itself! More specifically, critical information about bridge performance and safety is often hidden in multi-dimensional and highly correlated data, which the human brain cannot visualize and process (particularly beyond three dimensions). Also, the human brain cannot correlate a variable simultaneously to two or more other variables, especially when the relationships tend to be nonlinear in nature. Furthermore, slowly developing out-of-spec trends in bridge performance and safety are often too subtle to be captured by expert’s eyes before those trends manifest themselves into more critical abnormalities. Therefore, we developed advanced mathematical tools that can transform data into information that can be used for reliable decision-making by bridge operators and engineers.
There is often a lot of data but few pieces of operationally useful information. The ever-increasing amount of data makes their manual inspection and monitoring extremely time-consuming, error-prone and expensive. Therefore, we automated this process and left data processing and number crunching to the machines that stay up 24/7 and never get tired. This significantly frees up experts’ time to focus on critical decision-making tasks.
GlobVision’s IntelliBRIDGE is an end-to-end software application that addresses all of the steps involved in the analysis process, from data access, data management, data visualization and monitoring to data analysis and modeling. More specifically, IntelliBRIDGE is a one-stop shop for all data management and analysis needs as explained below:
- Access data stored in databases. IntelliBRIDGE supports connections to virtually any database engines such as Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Powel TS, PI, Sybase, dBase, eDNA and any other data source with an ODBC compliant API, for example Excel;
- Data import (for manual readings, data that are stored in external files, SCADA systems, etc.);
- Data visualization in tables and extensively configurable charts, with possibility to add annotations on graphs;
- Data export from tables and charts;
- Contextual linking of data and information including sensor measurements, multimedia (images, videos, web feeds), documentation, etc. to contextually rich objects such as GIS maps, thematic maps, and CAD/schematic drawings of a bridge and its instrumentation, cross-sections, etc.;
- Automatic classical bounds checking of all parameters measured by instrumentation to ensure they remain within their statistical limits and automatically trigger alarms and notifications if proved otherwise;
- Creation of layouts to automate the repetitive process of monitoring key variables and data within a bridge on a daily basis;
- Creation of uniform time series for data recorded at varying sample times using various interpolation techniques, required for advanced data analysis;
- Advanced data analysis functionalities including lag time, trend and correlation analysis and advanced mathematical models.
All of the features described above make IntelliBRIDGE a very practical tool for exploratory data analysis, where the interest is in identifying and exploring new trends in bridge performance, as well as allowing bridge engineers to quickly perform confirmatory data analysis, which involves either verifying or rejecting a hypothesis that they have made about bridge performance based on an observed trend in their data.
In conclusion, IntelliBRIDGE is the only system for evaluating the state of health of a bridge based exclusively on instrumentation data. IntelliBRIDGE assists users, from inspectors to operators in control rooms, to bridge engineers and long-term planners, in their learning about the evolving relationship between various parameters within a bridge. This in turn enables them to better understand the bigger picture, and to manage bridges as complete systems.