Predicting pavement roughness using deep learning algorithms

Qingwen Zhou, Egemen Okte, Imad L. Al-Qadi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Transportation agencies should measure pavement performance to appropriately strategize road preservation, maintenance, and rehabilitation activities. The international roughness index (IRI), which is a means to quantify pavement roughness, is a primary performance indicator. Many attempts have been made to correlate pavement roughness to other pavement performance parameters. Most existing correlations, however, are based on traditional statistical regression, which requires a hypothesis for the data. In this study, a novel approach was developed to predict asphalt concrete (AC) pavement IRI, utilizing datasets extracted from the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) database. IRI prediction is categorized by two models: (i) IRI progression over the pavement’s service life without maintenance/rehabilitation and (ii) the drop in IRI after maintenance. The first model utilizes the recurrent neural network algorithm, which deals with time-series data. Therefore, historical traffic data, environmental information, and distress (rutting, fatigue cracking, and transverse cracking) measurements were extracted from the LTPP database. A long short-term memory network was used to solve the vanishing gradient problem. Finally, an optimal model was achieved by setting the sequence length to 2 years. The second model utilizes an artificial neural network algorithm to correlate the impacting factors to the IRI value after maintenance. The impacting factors include maintenance activities; initial (new construction), milled, and overlaid AC thicknesses; as well as IRI value before maintenance activities. Combining the two models allows for the prediction of IRI values over AC pavement’s service life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherSAGE Publishing
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Record
ISSN (Print)0361-1981
ISSN (Electronic)2169-4052

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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