Wavelet-based multiresolution analysis of pavement profiles as a diagnostic tool

Parisa Shokouhi, Nenad Gucunski, Ali Maher, Sameh M. Zaghloul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Discrete wavelet transform (DWT) was proposed as a new diagnostic tool for locating various frequency-related features of profiles, such as repeated waves and short-lived surface distress, that affect ride quality. The shortcomings of power spectrum density (PSD) analysis in evaluating the distribution of energy of a profile between various frequency bandwidths were pointed out. The theoretical background and the basics of the DWT decomposition algorithm are discussed. Advantages of DWT analysis over PSD analysis in detection of short-lived features of the profile are illustrated by an example. The results of both the PSD and DWT analyses of three profile data, taken from data collected as a part of an ongoing research project sponsored by New Jersey Department of Transportation, are presented. The results indicate that DWT analysis can capture both short-lived high-frequency and long-lived low-frequency features of the profile and, consequently, provides a better representation of the profile characteristics. The application of DWT in the development of new ride indices is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1940
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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