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Pontis Modeling Approach Overview. Transportation leadership you can trust. presented by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. May 2004. Outline. What is Pontis? Developing a preservation policy in Pontis Simulating bridge conditions New modeling features in Pontis

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Pontis modeling approach overview

Pontis ModelingApproach Overview

Transportation leadership you can trust.

presented byCambridge Systematics, Inc.

May 2004


  • What is Pontis?

  • Developing a preservationpolicy in Pontis

  • Simulating bridge conditions

  • New modeling features in Pontis

    • Improved deterioration model updating

    • Performance targeting for the long-term preservation model

    • Other improvements

  • Information resources

What is pontis
What is Pontis?

  • Windows-based bridge management system (BMS) with functionality for:

    • Recording bridge inventory and inspection data

    • Developing an optimal preservation policy

    • Simulating conditions and generating work candidates

    • Developing a bridge program

  • Used by over 45 agencies throughout the U.S. and abroad

  • Originally developed for the FHWA, now owned by AASHTO with Cambridge Systematics as AASHTO’s contactor

  • One component of AASHTO’s BRIDGEWare Suite

What is pontis key features of pontis
What is Pontis?Key Features of Pontis

  • Representation of a bridge as a set of structural elements

  • Recommendation of an optimal preservation policy

  • Extensive functionality for program simulation

    • Recommends preservation and improvements

    • Considers agency and user costs

    • Predicts a broad range of performance measures, with support from the FHWA NBI Translator

  • Support for an Oracle, Sybase or SQL Server Sybase

  • Extensive functionality for customization

What is pontis bridge management process supported by pontis
What is Pontis?Bridge Management Process Supported by Pontis









Source: NHI Training Course 134056A ,Pontis Bridge Management

Developing a preservation policy in pontis use of elements in pontis
Developing a Preservation Policy in PontisUse of Elements in Pontis

  • A bridge in Pontis is represented as a set of structural elements

    • AASHTO defines a set of Commonly Recognized (CoRe) elements, including descriptions of the element and condition states for each

    • Agencies may use the CoRe elements or define their own

  • For each element the user specifies

    • Feasible preservation actions for each state

    • Action costs and deterioration rates (expressed using transition probabilities) for each state

  • Bridges are inspected at the element level

Development of a preservation policy in pontis element level representation of a bridge
Development of a Preservation Policy in PontisElement-Level Representation of a Bridge

Developing a preservation policy in pontis modeling approach
Developing a Preservation Policy in PontisModeling Approach

  • Pontis recommends the optimal maintenance policy,or set of recommended actions for each state, foreach element-environment combination

  • Preservation models are built basedon expert opinion (elicitations)and inspection history

  • Each element ismodeled independently

  • The preservation modelsoptimize based on discountedlong-term agency costs usinga Markovian decision model

Simulating bridge conditions purpose of a program simulation
Simulating Bridge ConditionsPurpose of a Program Simulation

  • Pontis performs program simulations to

    • Determine current and future needs

    • Predict future performance

    • Develop work recommendations

  • Pontis can be used to determine

    • Conditions predicted based on a given budget

    • Budget needed to achieve a target

  • Given inspector and Pontis recommendations, an agency can use the system to develop its bridge plan

Simulating bridge conditions inputs to a program simulation
Simulating Bridge ConditionsInputs to a Program Simulation

  • Bridge inspection data

  • Preservation policy (generated by Pontis)

  • Functional improvement policy and costs

  • Budget

  • Agency business process rules

  • Planned projects

  • Additional simulation parameters

Simulating bridge conditions simulation results
Simulating Bridge ConditionsSimulation Results

  • Predicted conditions (network and bridge-level)

    • Needs and predicted work

    • Benefits of meeting needs andperforming predicted work

    • Element conditions

    • Health index

    • NBI condition ratings

    • Sufficiency Rating

    • SD/FO status

  • Bridge-level workrecommendations

New modeling features improved deterioration model updating
New Modeling FeaturesImproved Deterioration Model Updating

  • Deterioration models can be build based on expert opinion (elicitations) and inspection history

  • Recent improvements to the model updating process

    • Better algorithm for using inspection history in the update process

    • Option to specify whatbridges’ history to usefor model updating

    • Ability to rebuild historyor use prior history whenperforming successivemodel updates

New modeling features performance targeting in the preservation model
New Modeling FeaturesPerformance Targeting in the Preservation Model

  • The long-term preservation model is used to specify optimal steady-state conditions

    • Steady-state conditions would result from following a specified policy over a period of many years

    • Pontis solves the long-term optimization model to determine what the annual cost would be to remain in the optimal steady-state condition

  • With Pontis 4.4 a user can add performance targets to the long-term optimization

    • Targets are specified in terms of Health Index

    • Provides long-term steady state funding requirements to achieve a specified performance target

New modeling features performance targeting applications
New Modeling FeaturesPerformance Targeting Applications

  • Determining the cost of meeting agency-definedperformance targets

  • Quantifying thecosts of sub-optimalbridge conditions

  • Determining long-termminimum preservationfunding requirements

  • Improvedunderstanding ofthe Pontis-generatedpreservation policy

New modeling features other improvements
New Modeling FeaturesOther Improvements

  • Ability to specify bridges exempted from the agency’s functional improvement policy (e.g., historic bridges)

  • Program simulation horizon of up to 99 years

  • Flexibility for entering program simulation inputs in English or metric units

  • Capability for specifying when a bridge should be removed from the inventory at some future point

Information resources
Information Resources

  • Web resources

    • FHWA:


    • AASHTO:


    • Pontis software support:


  • Documentation

    • Pontis User’s Manual

    • Pontis Technical Manual

    • Referentia for Pontis Training CD