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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.

Received 11 July 2020; Accepted 09 September 2020; Issue published 22 March 2021


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.


Dynamic measurement; wavelet selection; continuous wavelet

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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