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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
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