A dynamic programming approach for economic optimisation of lifetime-extending maintenance, renovation, and replacement of public infrastructure assets under differential inflation

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Abstract

In the next decades, many public infrastructure assets will reach the end of their life that they were originally designed for. Replacement costs are high, and therefore increasing effort is put into lifetime-extending maintenance, including major overhauls and renovations. A key question is whether the investments in lifetime-extending maintenance justify the postponement of a full replacement. This question becomes more complicated when future life cycle cash flows are non-repeatable. Differential inflation and technological change, including multiple intervention strategies to maintain a desired functionality, cause such non-repeatability. In this case, classic replacement analysis techniques will not suffice in answering this question. Literature demonstrates that case-specific modelling with dynamic or linear programming techniques is required to find economic optimisation. However, such literature primarily addresses replacement interval optimisation of new investments within relative short time horizons, whereas the current research develops a nested dynamic programming (DP) approach for typical ageing infrastructure assets over long service life periods. The model can deal with multiple and various successive intervention strategies and addresses differential inflation and age-related cost increases. Finally, it is shown in an infrastructure case study that this DP approach leads to a better decision in comparison to the application of classical replacement techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018

Keywords

  • differential inflation and technological change
  • dynamic programming
  • Infrastructure
  • long-term replacement
  • maintenance and renovation decisions

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