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Comparative Analysis of Wavelet Transform for Time-Frequency Analysis and Transient Localization in Structural Health Monitoring

Ahmed Silik1,2, Mohammad Noori3,*, Wael A. Altabey1,4, Ramin Ghiasi1, Zhishen Wu1

1 International Institute for Urban Systems Engineering (IIUSE), Southeast University, Nanjing, 210096, China
2 Department of Civil Engineering, Nyala University, Nyala, Sudan
3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA
4 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria, 21544, Egypt

* Corresponding Author: Mohammad Noori. Email:

Structural Durability & Health Monitoring 2021, 15(1), 1-22.


A critical problem facing data collection in structural health monitoring, for instance via sensor networks, is how to extract the main components and useful features for damage detection. A structural dynamic measurement is more often a complex time-varying process and therefore, is prone to dynamic changes in time-frequency contents. To extract the signal components and capture the useful features associated with damage from such non-stationary signals, a technique that combines the time and frequency analysis and shows the signal evolution in both time and frequency is required. Wavelet analyses have proven to be a viable and effective tool in this regard. Wavelet transform (WT) can analyze different signal components and then comparing the characteristics of each signal with a resolution matched to its scale. However, the challenge is the selection of a proper wavelet since various wavelets with varied properties that are to analyze the same data may result in different results. This article presents a study on how to carry out a comparative analysis based on analytic wavelet scalograms, using structural dynamic acceleration responses, to evaluate the effectiveness of various wavelets for damage detection in civil structures. The scalogram’s informative time-frequency regions are examined to analyze the variation of wavelet coefficients and show how the frequency content of a signal changes over time to detect transient events due to damage. Subsequently, damage-induced changes are tracked with time-frequency representations. Towards this aim, energy distribution and sharing information are investigated. The undamaged and damaged simulated comparative results of a structure reveal that the damaged structure were shifted from the undamaged structure. Also, the Bump wavelet shows the best results than the others.


Cite This Article

Silik, A., Noori, M., Altabey, W. A., Ghiasi, R., Wu, Z. (2021). Comparative Analysis of Wavelet Transform for Time-Frequency Analysis and Transient Localization in Structural Health Monitoring. Structural Durability & Health Monitoring, 15(1), 1–22.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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