Closed-form fragility estimates, parameter sensitivity, and Bayesian updating for RC columns

Do Eun Choe, Paolo Gardoni, David Rosowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reinforced concrete (RC) columns are the most critical components in bridges under seismic excitation. In this paper, a simple closed-form formulation to estimate the fragility of RC columns is developed. The formulation is used to estimate the conditional probability of failure of an example column for given shear and deformation demands. The estimated fragilities are as accurate as more sophisticated estimates (i.e., predictive fragilities) and do not require any reliability software. A sensitivity analysis is carried out to identify to which parameter(s) the reliability of the example column is most sensitive. The closed-form formulation uses probabilistic capacity models. A Bayesian procedure is presented to update existing probabilistic models with new data. The model updating process can incorporate different types of information, including laboratory test data, field observations, and subjective engineering judgment, as they become available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-843
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayesian analysis
  • Bridges
  • Concrete columns
  • Deformation
  • Parameters
  • Probabilistic models
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Shear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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