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motion data

S. F. Ghahari

1

, F. Abazarsa

2

, M. A. Ghannad

1

and E. Taciroglu

3,

*

,

1

Department of Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, P.O. Box 11155-9313, Tehran, Iran

2

Structural Engineering Department, Int. Institute of Earthquake Eng. and Seismology, P.O. Box 3913/19395, Tehran, Iran

3

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, 5731E Boelter Hall, University of California, Los Angeles,

CA 90095, USA

SUMMARY

Dynamic characteristics of structures viz. natural frequencies, damping ratios, and mode shapes are

central to earthquake-resistant design. These values identied from eld measurements are useful for model

validation and health-monitoring. Most system identication methods require input excitations motions to be

measured and the structural response; however, the true input motions are seldom recordable. For example,

when soilstructure interaction effects are non-negligible, neither the free-eld motions nor the recorded

responses of the foundations may be assumed as input. Even in the absence of soilstructure interaction, in

many instances, the foundation responses are not recorded (or are recorded with a low signal-to-noise ratio).

Unfortunately, existing output-only methods are limited to free vibration data, or weak stationary ambient

excitations. However, it is well-known that the dynamic characteristics of most civil structures are amplitude-

dependent; thus, parameters identied from low-amplitude responses do not match well with those from strong

excitations, which arguably are more pertinent to seismic design. In this study, we present a new identication

method through which a structures dynamic characteristics can be extracted using only seismic response

(output) signals. In this method, rst, the response signals spatial time-frequency distributions are used for

blindly identifying the classical mode shapes and the modal coordinate signals. Second, cross-relations among

the modal coordinates are employed to determine the systems natural frequencies and damping ratios on the

premise of linear behavior for the system. We use simulated (but realistic) data to verify the method, and also

apply it to a real-life data set to demonstrate its utility. Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Received 7 November 2011; Revised 24 September 2012; Accepted 1 October 2012

KEY WORDS: blind system identication; modal identication; output-only techniques; strong ground

motions; soilstructure interaction; spatial time-frequency distributions

1. INTRODUCTION

Identication of dynamic characteristics of civil structures from response recorded during strong

ground shaking has been a subject of research for more than three decades [14]. System

identication techniques are not only useful for condition assessment, but also for improving future

designs, validating predictive models, and verifying retrot procedures [5]. Active and semi-active

control systems that are now being frequently employed in important structures throughout the

world also make use of system identication techniques, which provide intelligent feedback from

the structure so that the active and passive (damping) forces supplied to the system can be properly

controlled [6]. Although the diversity of applications continue to ourish, a major part of system

identication research remains focused on model validation and damage assessment. Numerous

*Correspondence to: E. Taciroglu, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 5731E Boelter Hall, University

of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1593, USA.

E-mail: etacir@ucla.edu

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING & STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS

Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI: 10.1002/eqe.2268

studies have been undertaken in recent years to develop robust methods by which structural damage

can be detected and quantied (see, e.g., [7, 8]). In most of these studies, changes in dynamic

properties are used as indices for detecting the location and severity of damage (see, e.g., [9, 10]

and references therein).

Many of the existing system identication methods are common to mechanical, electrical, and

structural engineering elds. Quite a number of those methods have been developed for output-only

modal identication, and they are especially pertinent for civil structures, for which input excitations

are not always readily available. However, most of these techniques are designed to use free or

ambient vibration data as input [1113] wherein the identied modal properties are related typically

to small-amplitude vibrations. Moreover, in techniques devised for ambient vibrations, it is usually

assumed that the input excitation is a broadband stochastic process, which is modeled as stationary

Gaussian white noise [14]. On account of these facts, available output-only identication techniques

cannot be employed for nonstationary response signals recorded during strong ground motions.

Consequently, apart from a few notable exceptions [15, 16], nearly all of the existing techniques

employed in the identication of civil structures from their seismic responses require the input

motions to be known/measured. Yet, in most practical cases, the true foundation input motion (FIM)

is not recorded at all, or recorded with a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), or cannot be recorded

because of, for example, soilstructure interaction (SSI) effects. When there is signicant SSI,

the FIM is different from both the free-eld motion recorded in the structures vicinity, and

the responses recorded at the foundation level [17]. The usual contrast between the stiffness of

a (nearly rigid) foundation and the surrounding soil causes the motion experienced by the foundation

(i.e., FIM) to differ from the free-eld motion; an effect coined as kinematic interaction. Inertial

interaction, which is caused by the soils exibility and attenuation, and the structures and

its foundations masses, compounds the said difference between the foundation response and

the FIM.

Even in the absence of SSI, for many real cases, foundation responses are not always recorded, or

are recorded with low SNR. As such, recorded foundation responses are usually assumed to be input

motions in dynamic analyses, and in system identication studies. For example, Skolnik et al. [18]

used signals recorded at the ground level of a 15-story, steel-frame building (i.e., the UCLA Factor

Building) as input motions for their nite element model updating studies. However, the Fourier

spectra of those signals (Figure 1) indicate that they are affected by the buildings own dynamic

response: in the Fourier amplitude spectrum of the eastwest (EW) acceleration (cf., Figure 1(a)),

there are two dominant peaks occurring at frequencies 0.42 and 0.65 Hz, which are very close to

the reported rst natural frequency of the EW mode (0.47 Hz) and the natural frequency of the

rst torsional mode (0.68 Hz), respectively. This similarity is also seen in the northsouth (NS)

direction spectrum, wherein a dominant peak corresponding to rst natural frequency in the NS

direction (i.e., 0.51 Hz) is observed (cf., Figure 1(b)). Clearly, the motion used as input is inuenced

by the structures response. Examples such as these are not uncommon [19].

Figure 1. Fourier spectra of the ground level responses of the UCLAFactor Building during the 2004 Parkeld

earthquake.

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

In this paper, we present a new system identication method through which the modal properties of

civil structures are identied from their seismic responses without having measurements of input

excitations. The method works in two steps:

i. Mode shapes and modal coordinates are extracted by applying a blind source separation (BSS)

technique to the time-frequency representation of recorded responses; and

ii. Concurrent analyses of modal coordinates are carried out using a cross-relation (CR) technique to

identify natural frequencies and damping ratios from modal coordinates extracted in the rst step.

The theoretical background needed for the rst step is presented in the next section, where the time-

frequency distribution (TFD) of a signal and also spatial TFD (STFD) of signals are briey introduced.

This is followed by detailed descriptions of the methods two steps (i.e., BSS and CR). Performance of

this new method is evaluated subsequently through simulated and real data examples.

2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

2.1. Time-frequency distribution of a signal

Signals are classically represented in either the time-domain or the frequency-domain. In both forms, the

time and frequency variables are treated as mutually exclusive. Consequently, these representations are

nonlocal with respect to the excluded variable [20]. As such, they are only suitable for signals with

time-invariant or frequency-invariant properties. TFDs are needed for nonstationary signals, or signals

from a nonlinear system, for which the signal characteristics are changing. The theoretical background

of TFDs is beyond the scope of this paper; and interested readers are referred to Boashashs textbook [20]

and the references cited therein. For brevity, only the pertinent fundamental formulae are presented

below.

The discrete-time form of the Cohen-class of TFDs is given by [21]

D

xx

t; f

X

1

l1

X

1

m1

m; l x t m l x

t m l e

j4pfl

(1)

where x(t) is a time signal, and t and f represent the time and frequency variables, respectively. The

kernel function, (m,l), depends on both the time (t) and the lag (l) variables. Different choices of

the kernel function lead to different TFD realizations. TFDs dened through Equation (1) are

categorized as nonlinear or quadratic TFDs. Contrary to linear TFDs, such as the short-time Fourier

transform, or the wavelet transform, the signals product with its complex conjugate is used.

Choosing the most suitable TFD for a given situation depends on which of its characteristics are

desired. Linear TFDs are sometimes preferred, because they are real-valued, simpler, and free of

interference-terms; however, their simultaneous time-frequency resolutions are limited [22].

Quadratic TFDs have higher time-frequency resolutions, but suffer from interference. Interference

terms, which are also dubbed as outer artifacts or cross-terms [20], are spurious features that

appear when representing a multicomponent signal in the time-frequency domain using one of the

quadratic methods. To wit, consider the signal x(t) = x

1

(t) + x

2

(t) in which both x

1

(t) and x

2

(t) are

analytic and monocomponent signals. Substituting x(t) into Equation (1), its TFD will be,

D

xx

t; f D

x

1

x

1

t; f D

x

2

x

2

t; f 2Re D

x

1

x

2

t; f f g (2)

in which D

x

1

x

1

t; f and D

x

2

x

2

t; f are the auto-terms, which represent energy concentration in the time-

frequency plane, whereas 2Re D

x

1

x

2

t; f f g is a cross-term that occurs in (t,f) points in which no energy

is expected at all. These cross-terms have large oscillating amplitudes on average times and frequencies

of the true components, and can make the TFD difcult to interpret. This is especially true if the

components are numerous (or they are close to each other), and also in the presence of noise,

because they can be produced between the signal and the noise components. Therefore, in most

practical applications, quadratic TFDs are not used despite their higher resolution. There are three

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

approaches to suppress the cross-term effects: (i) by multiplying the TFD with the spectrogram, which

is a cross-term free TFD [23]; (ii) by using one of the existing components as a reference signal [24];

and (iii) by attenuating the cross-terms through a properly selected kernel function, which results in a

TFD family that is referred to as reduced interference distribution. Herein, we adopt the smoothed

pseudo-WignerVille distribution (SPWVD) [25], which is an enhanced version of WignerVille

distribution (WVD) [26] and belongs to the said reduced interference distribution family.

In all TFD methods, the analytic associate of the real signal is used to eliminate the unnecessary

negative frequencies without losing information. This removal has two benecial effects: rst, it

halves the total bandwidth, allowing the signal to be sampled at half the usual Nyquist rate without

aliasing [27, 28]; second, it avoids the appearance of various interference terms generated by the

interaction of positive and negative components in quadratic TFDs [20]. The analytic associate, x

a

(t), of

a signal x(t) is dened as

x

a

t x t j^x t ; ^x t

1

p

Z

1

1

x t

t t

dt (3)

where ^x t denotes the Hilbert Transform of x(t).

2.2. Spatial time-frequency distribution

The TFD dened in the previous section conveys the energy distribution of a single signal in the time-

frequency plane, and thus, it is called an auto-TFD. In many cases, it is necessary to have the joint

energy distribution of two signals, for which the cross-TFD is used. The cross-TFD of two signals

x

1

(t) and x

2

(t) is dened in similar fashion to Equation (1),

D

x

1

x

2

t; f

X

1

l1

X

1

m1

m; l x

1

t m l x

2

t m l e

4pjfl

: (4)

On the basis of Equation (4), the STFD of a vector x containing n signals is dened as

D

xx

t; f

X

1

l1

X

1

m1

m; l x t m l x

H

t m l e

4pjfl

(5)

where D

xx

t; f

ij

D

x

i

x

j

t; f for i, j 2{1, . . .,n}; and the superscript H denotes a Hermitian transpose.

Although the same kernel function is used in Equation (5) for all pairs, it is possible to use a specic

kernel for each pair.

In the previous section, auto-terms and cross-terms were introduced as points with true and ghost

energy concentrations, that is, nonzero TFD, respectively. For an STFD, two extra terms are

introduced: The point (t

a

, f

a

) is dubbed an auto-source TF point of a source (signal) x

i

(t), if its auto-

TFD at this point, that is, D

x

i

x

i

t; f , exhibits an energy concentration. This energy concentration can

be true if x

i

(t) is monocomponent, or a ghost if the source is multicomponent. Additionally, the

point (t

c

, f

c

) is dubbed a cross-source TF point between signals x

i

(t) and x

j

(t), if their cross-TFD at

this point, that is, D

x

i

x

j

t; f , exhibits an energy concentration [29].

3. THE PROPOSED IDENTIFICATION METHOD

In this section, we present a new system identication method with which modal properties, that is,

natural frequencies, damping ratios, and mode shapes, can be extracted from a buildings response

recorded during strong ground motions. This method works without the knowledge of the input

motions, so it may be categorized as an output-only identication method. At the present time, there

appears to be no other robust technique proposed in the open literature that claims the same feat.

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

The governing equations of motion for an MDOF system with n

d

DOFs, which is excited by a

unidirectional (scalar) ground acceleration, can be expressed as follows:

M x t C x t Kx t Mlx

g

t (6)

in which M, C, and K are the constant n

d

n

d

mass, damping, and stiffness matrices of the system,

respectively. The vector x(t) contains relative displacement responses of the system at all DOFs;

x

g

t is a scalar time-signal, which represents the (unknown) ground acceleration; and l is the

inuence vector [30]. In practical cases, the absolute acceleration of structure is recorded, which is

x

t

t x t lx

g

t (7)

By assuming a proportional damping matrix, the absolute acceleration response can be expressed in

modal space as

x

t

t fq t (8)

where fis an n

d

n

d

real-valued mode shape matrix whose i-th column (f

i

) is the i-th mode shape; and

q t is a vector that contains the absolute acceleration modal coordinates. The i-th modal coordinate is

the absolute acceleration response of an SDOF system that corresponds to the i-th mode, given by

q

i

t h

i

t b

i

x

g

t ; i 1; . . . ; n

d

(9)

where the operator * indicates linear convolution; b

i

f

i

T

Ml=f

T

i

Mf

i

is the modal contribution

factor [30]; and h

i

(t) is the SDOFs impulse response function, which is calculated as [31],

h t

1

o

d

e

xo

n

t

o

d

2

x

2

o

n

2

_ _

sin o

d

t 2xo

n

o

d

cos o

d

t

_

(10)

where x, o

n

, and o

d

o

n

1 x

2

p

are the damping ratio, and the undamped and damped natural

frequencies of the SDOF system, respectively. As such, the identication of a system may be divided

into two stages: (i) modal decomposition and (ii) SDOF system identication. The following sections

describe the said two stages of the proposed output-only identication method.

3.1. Blind source separation

Blind source separation is a well-established methodology in the sound separation eld [3235]. BSS

techniques are used for recovering the source signals and the unknown mixing matrix using only the

recorded signals (output). Here, we apply BSS to estimate the modal coordinates (source signal) and

the mode shape matrix (mixing matrix).

Consider again Equation (8) in which n

m

contributing modal coordinates are linearly combined to

produce n

n

response signals, with n

m

n

n

n

d

. Because Equation (8) is a single equation with two

unknowns, restricting assumptions must be considered for the source signals and the mixing matrix.

If we assume that the source signals have distinct structures and localization properties in the time-

frequency domain, and that the mixing matrix has full-column rank, then the mixing matrix can be

identied, and the source signals can be recovered up to an arbitrary scaling factor and permutation

via BSS [3638].

Before describing the details of the time-frequency domain BSS method, we present a simple

conceptual example to illustrate the implication of being localized in the time-frequency domain.

Figure 2 displays the time-frequency distributions of two synthetic signals, schematically. In

Figures 2(a) and 3(b), the types of signals that are mostly encountered in the electrical engineering

eld are depicted [29, 39, 40]. Having a distinct localization in the time-frequency domain means

that the signals have disjoint time-frequency signatures, as in Figure 2(a). However, BSS techniques

can also be applied to signals that are quasi-disjoint, that is, they have overlapping regions in the

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

Figure 2. A schematic diagram of time-frequency distributions of disjoint and quasi-disjoint signals in

typical electrical (a, b) and earthquake (c, d) engineering applications.

Figure 3. TFDs of the rst oor dynamic response of the 5-DOF system under the El Centro Array #9 accel-

erogram recorded in Imperial Valley earthquake, 1940 [50]: (a, c) WVD, and (b, d) SPWVD for systems

with stiffness-proportional and mass-proportional damping, respectively.

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

time-frequency domain, as in Figure 2(b). Herein, the modal coordinates are taken as the source

signals. Thus, they must have distinct time-frequency signatures so that BSS techniques are

applicable. Fortunately, in most cases, the time-frequency distributions of modal coordinates are

similar to the schematic TFD distribution shown in Figure 2(c). In the worst-case scenario, the input

excitation also has a dominant frequency that contributes in all modal coordinates as shown in

Figure 2(d) in which the modal coordinates can be assumed as quasi-disjoint sources. Hence, time-

frequency-based BSS methods can be applied to separate these source signals blindly. This method

is described next.

Calculating the STFD of both sides of Equation (8) and neglecting the noise effects yields,

D

x

t

x

t t; f fD

qq

t; f f

H

(11)

where D

x

t

x

t and D

qq

t; f are, respectively, n

n

n

n

and n

m

n

m

matrices whose elements are the auto-

TFDs and cross-TFDs of the recorded signals and the modal coordinates. Equation (11) is similar to the

well-known BSS equation in the sound-separation eld (cf., [41]). For simplicity, consider an ideal

TFD, that is, one without any cross-terms in any time-frequency point that corresponds to an auto-

term of only a source signal. In this case, D

qq

t; f is diagonal with only one nonzero diagonal

element. Thus, at each auto-term, Equation (11) is converted to,

D

x

t

x

t t

i

; f

i

f

i

D

q

i

q

i

t

i

; f

i

f

i

H

(12)

where f

i

is i-th column of f, and D

q

i

q

i

t

i

; f

i

is i-th modes auto-TFD. Knowing the proper auto-term

of each modal coordinate, an eigenvalue decomposition (EVD) can be used to extract f

i

and

D

q

i

q

i

t

i

; f

i

. However, D

qq

t

i

; f

i

is rank-decient, and thus, f cannot be uniquely determined.

Moreover, external criteria are needed to specify the true auto-terms of each source signal and to

decide which modes auto-term should be used for EVD. The difference between the number of

modes and the number of sensors poses further difculties for EVD. Belouchrani et al. [37] showed

that it is necessary and sufcient to use all auto-terms simultaneously, without knowing to which

source they belong; hence, a joint approximate diagonalization (JAD) is employed instead of

EVD [42, 43]. In this method, several Jacobi rotations are applied on a set of matrices to diagonalize

them (details are omitted here for brevity, but may be found, for example, in [44]).

Because the JAD algorithm is restricted to nding a unitary diagonalizing matrix, a preprocessing

step that converts the problem of nding f (which is not always unitary) to nding a unitary matrix

U is needed. This step, dubbed whitening, renders Jacobi rotations applicable, and also solves the

dimensional problem mentioned earlier. As the term whitening implies, this step converts the

sensor signals to white signals, that is, their zero-lag correlation matrix becomes equal to the identity

matrix I. The whitening process reduces the determination of the n

n

n

m

mode shape matrix f to

that of a unitary n

m

n

m

matrix (U) as follows. On the basis of the aforementioned denition, an

n

m

n

n

whitening matrix (W) converts the recorded signals, x

t

t , to z t W x

t

t , such that,

R

z

0 I (13)

where R

z

(0) is a zero-lag correlation matrix of the new version of recorded signals; and is computed as

R

z

0 E z t z

t (14)

where E[.] denotes the expected value and the superscript * indicates the complex conjugate. For

discrete deterministic signals, Equation (14) can be written as,

R

z

0

1

N

X

N

k1

z k z

k (15)

where Nis the number of time samples, andk is a discrete index. Inserting x t fq t into z t W x

t

t ,

and applying the condition presented in Equation (13) yields

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

R

z

0 E z t z

t E Wfq t q

t f

H

W

H

_

WfR

q

0 f

H

W

H

I (16)

Because of the intrinsic ambiguity embedded in BSS techniques, and without any loss of generality,

it is assumed that R

q

0 I . In other words, it is implicitly assumed that the source signals are

uncorrelated at zero-lag with unit variance; thus,

Wf Wf

H

I (17)

Equation (17) implies that Wf=U, in which U is a unitary matrix. If the whitening matrix is known,

then f may be identied from U by a simple MoorePenrose pseudo-inverse [41]. For determinate

cases in which the number of sensors is equal to the number of modes, it can be easily shown that

the whitening matrix can be obtained as follows [41]:

W R

x

t 0

0:5

(18)

where R

x

t 0 is the correlation matrix of recorded signals, and R

x

t 0

0:5

is its principal square root.

For cases in which n

m

<n

n

, the rst n

m

largest eigenvalues and eigenvectors of R

x

t 0 are used as

follows [41]:

W

0:5

n

m

H

H

n

m

(19)

where

n

m

is an n

m

n

m

diagonal matrix in which diagonal entities are the n

m

largest eigenvalues of

R

x

t 0 , and H

n

m

is an n

m

n

m

matrix that contains the corresponding eigenvectors. The whitening

process must be applied on a noise-free portion of the recorded signals, which is clearly not

possible for real data. Hence, for the under-determined case, the average of (n

n

n

m

) the remaining

eigenvalues of R

x

t 0 is used as noise variance, and is subtracted from the diagonal elements of

n

m

to reduce the noise effects [41]. The aforementioned whitening process may be carried out

with other approaches, for example, Robust Whitening [45, 46], which may improve the results in

exchange for additional computation.

The STFD of the, now whitened, signals can be expressed as

D

zz

t; f UD

qq

t; f U

H

(20)

Therefore, any whitened STFD-matrix is diagonal when stated in the basis of the columns of the

matrix U. As mentioned previously, this unknown unitary matrix can be identied through a JAD of

D

zz

(t,f) at the chosen time-frequency points that are true auto-terms. After the identication of U,

the mode shape matrix f, and the modal coordinates q t , may be recovered as follows:

f W

#

U; (21)

q t U

H

W x

t

t (22)

where the superscript # denotes a MoorePenrose pseudo-inverse.

As mentioned above, the JAD procedure is to be applied on a set of D

zz

(t,f) matrices calculated at

time-frequency points that are auto-terms. Several researchers have proposed various criteria to

determine/select the said auto-terms [29, 37, 38, 47]. However, before attempting to identify the

auto-terms, it is expedient to increase the odds of choosing proper points (and also to decrease the

computational effort involved) by removing the noise effects and also by discarding the low-energy

points. To remove the time-windows with no signicant energy (e.g., those portions that usually

comprise the beginning and the end of strong motion records) the following criterion may be used:

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

max

f

D

x

t

x

t t

i

; f k k

F

max

t; f

D

x

t

x

t t; f k k

F

> E

1

(23)

where .

F

denotes the Frobenius norm. The criterion includes time slices t

i

, in which the ratio of the

maximum energy along the frequency axis to the maximum energy in the time-frequency plane is

greater than some scalar E

1

. The value of E

1

should be chosen based on the signal-to-noise ratio. Our

experiences with real-life records suggest that values greater than 1% will work well for most cases.

However, for weak earthquake motions with noisy data, it may have to be increased up to 10%.

Next, an energy criterion can be used to remove unnecessary points in each time slice as in,

D

x

t

x

t t

i

; f k k

F

max

f

D

x

t

x

t t

i

; f k k

F

> E

2

: (24)

Here, in each time slice t

i

, the auto-term points are selected if the ratio of their energy to the maximum

energy at that time window is greater than some scalar E

2

. The value of E

2

is chosen based on earthquake

energy; for weak input motions, larger values of E

2

should be used (typically greater than 1%).

To identify the auto-term points, Belouchrani et al. [38] suggested exploiting the off-diagonal

structure of the STFD matrices at cross-terms; that is, for time-frequency points that correspond to

cross-terms, the following condition can be written:

trace D

zz

t; f trace UD

qq

t; f U

H

_

trace D

qq

t; f

_

0 (25)

This equation is valid because the trace of a matrix is invariant under a unitary transform. Thus, they

suggested using the criterion, trace D

zz

t; f = D

zz

t; f k k

F

< E

3

, to detect the cross-terms and to exclude

them. Here E

3

is a positive scalar less than 1 (typically, E

3

=0.8) [29]. Although this criterion works well

for excluding the cross-terms (produced because of deciencies inherent to quadratic TFD), it cannot

detect cross-sources. In other words, at common points (i.e., points at which several sources are

contributing) the value of trace D

zz

t; f = D

zz

t; f k k

F

< E

3

may be greater than 1; and these points

will be selected as auto-source points for the diagonalization process. This scenario is highly likely

for a system that is subjected to strong ground shaking the scenario in which the input excitation

contains several dominant frequencies. If the dominant frequencies of input are observed in several

modes, then the aforementioned criterion cannot lter out the time-frequency points corresponding

to those frequencies; and another criterion would have to be used to select the best auto-sources.

Under the source time-frequency disjointness assumption, each auto-source STFD matrix is of rank

one; or at least, each matrix has one signicantly large eigenvalue compared with its other

eigenvalues. Therefore, the following criterion may be used to deselect the cross-source points [29]:

l

max

D

x

t

x

t t; f

D

x

t

x

t t; f k k

F

1

> E

4

(26)

where E

4

is a small positive scalar (typically, E

4

= 0.001) and l

max

[.] represents the largest eigenvalue of

its argument matrix. Note that in this new criterion, the STFD matrix of the original data (as opposed to

that of the whitened data) is used.

Remark 1

To reduce modal interference in systems with closely spaced modes in two directions, signals of those

two directions should be analyzed separately for symmetric buildings. For asymmetric cases, a stricter

auto-source point selection criterion (i.e., smaller values for E

4

) must be used.

By employing the aforementioned process for selecting the auto-source points, and by applying

JAD for the diagonalization of whitened auto-source STFD matrices, the mode shapes and modal

coordinates in absolute acceleration forms will have been identied. The second step is to extract

the natural frequencies and damping ratios, which is described next.

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

3.2. Simultaneous identication of the modal coordinates

On the basis of Equation (9), the i-th absolute acceleration modal coordinate q

i

t , is the response of an

SDOF system to the translational acceleration b

i

x

g

t . Applying a Z-transform to both sides of

Equation (9), the response of the system in the Z-plane can be represented by the following equation:

q

i

z

h

i

z b

i

x

g

z (27)

Here,

q

i

z ,

x

g

z , and

h

i

z denote the Z-transforms of the modal coordinate, the input motion, and the

impulse response function, respectively. Unilateral Z-transform of a discrete-time signal x[k] is dened

as [48],

x z

X

1

k0

x k z

k

(28)

where k is an integer time index and z is, in general, a complex number. The term

h

i

z is calculated in

discrete form based on Equations (10) and (29) as

h

i

z

1

T

C

i

D

i

z

1

1 A

i

z

1

B

i

z

2

_ _

(29)

where T is sampling time and the coefcients are given by

A

i

2e

x

i

w

n

iT

cos w

di

T ; B

i

e

2x

i

w

ni

T

; C

i

2x

i

w

ni

T;

D

i

o

ni

Te

x

i

o

ni

T

o

ni

o

di

1 2x

i

2

_ _

sin o

di

T 2x

i

cos o

di

T

_ _

(30)

Substituting these expressions into Equation (27) yields

T

b

i

C

i

1 A

i

z

1

B

i

z

2

_ _

q

i

z 1 D

i

z

1

_ _

x

g

z (31)

where D

i

D

i

=C

i

, that is,

D

i

e

x

i

o

ni

T

o

ni

o

di

1 2x

i

2

2x

i

_ _

sin o

di

T cos o

di

T

_ _

(32)

Transforming Equation (31) back to the time-domain, a new representation is obtained,

1

b

i

C

i

q

i

k A

i

q

i

k 1 B

i

q

i

k 2 x

g

k D

i

x

g

k 1 ; 1in

m

; 1kN (33)

with N denoting the number of samples used for discretization. This equation indicates that the

absolute acceleration modal coordinate at discrete time k, that is, q k , may be written as a linear

difference equation involving previous responses, and previous and current input excitations. In the

literature, such models are termed as auto-regressive models with eXternal/eXogeneous input. Using

a nonlinear least-squares technique, the n

m

linear equations corresponding to all of the extracted

modes may be solved simultaneously to determine the natural frequencies, damping ratios, and modal

contribution factors of the system, and the input motion. However, this approach is very expensive

computationally. An alternative is presented below that alleviates this burden.

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

Equation (33) may be restated for all time instants in matrix form as,

Q

i

i

x

gD

i

for 1in

m

(34)

where

Q

i

q

i

2 q

i

1 q

i

0

q

i

N 1 q

i

N 2 q

i

N 3

2

4

3

5

(35)

i

g

i

0

g

i

1

g

i

2

_

T

; (36)

x

gD

i

x

g

2 D

i

x

g

1

x

g

N 1 D

i

x

g

N 2

2

4

3

5

; (37)

where g

i

0

1= b

i

C

i

, g

i

1

g

i

0

A

i

, g

i

2

g

i

0

B

i

and T denotes matrix transposition. On the basis of

Equation (34), n

m

(n

m

1)/2 possible relations can be established among all modes as follows:

Q

i

i

Q

j

j

D

i

D

j

_ _

x

g

for 1i; jn

m

(38)

where

x

g

x

g

1 x

g

N 2

T

: (39)

Repeating Equation (38) for a different pairs and merging those results, we may obtain a new

relation that is free from input excitation. To wit,

Q

i

Q

j

Q

k

Q

l

_

i

D

i

D

j

D

i

D

k

D

k

D

l

D

k

D

l

_ _

T

0 for i; j 6 k; l : (40)

Using any four modes in Equation (40), we may write L

n

m

2

_ _

2

0

@

1

A

relations provided that

n

m

3. These relations can be combined in a matrix form as follows:

Q

L n

m

n

m

1

n

m

n

m

1 1

0 (41)

where

n

m

D

n

m

D

n

m

1

n

m

1

D

n

m

D

n

m

1

n

m

D

n

m

D

n

m

2

n

m

2

D

n

m

D

n

m

2

2

D

2

D

1

D

2

D

1

" #

(42)

in which

Q

L

L

Q

nm

(43)

where

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

L

2

I I ; L

l

L

11

l

L

12

l

0 L

l1

_ _

for 3lL (45)

and

L

11

l

I I I

T

; L

12

l

I 0

0 I

2

4

3

5

for 3lL (46)

where I is an identity matrix with size N2.

In the presence of noise, Equation (41) can be solved in a least-squares sense through the

constrained minimization problem,

CR

arg min

k k1

Q

H

(47)

as described in [49]. Alternatively, the eigenvector associated with the smallest eigenvalue of the

matrix

Q

H

Q can also be used as a solution of Equation (47). The present equations would yield

(n

m

1) answers for each

i

, each of which containing a different denominator term. Nevertheless,

the (n

m

1) answers for the damping ratio and natural frequency of each mode can be identied from

the following equations, wherein g

i

0

, g

i

1

, and g

i

2

related to each answer have the same denominator,

which cancel out,

x

i

o

ni

1

2T

ln

g

i

2

g

i

0

; o

ni

1 x

i

2

q

1

T

cos

1

g

i

1

e

x

i

o

ni

T

2g

i

0

_ _

for 1in

m

; (48)

x

i

x

i

o

ni

o

ni

; o

ni

x

i

o

ni

2

o

ni

1 x

i

2

q

_ _

2

s

for 1in

m

: (49)

4. VERIFICATION OF THE METHOD AND ITS APPLICATION TO REAL DATA

4.1. A simulated MDOF system for method verication

Consider a 5-DOF linear shear-building model, in which the oor mass is taken to be 3 10

5

for each

story. Interstory stiffnesses, from the rst to the fth story, are 7k, 5k, 3k, 2k, and k, respectively, where

k = 5 10

7

. This structure mimics the dynamic characteristics of a typical 5-story building fairly well.

Two separate cases are investigated: in the rst case, the damping ratio, x

m

(%), is set to be mass-

proportional with a 10% rst mode damping ratio; in the second case, the damping ratio, x

s

(%), is

set to be stiffness-proportional with a 0.5% rst mode damping ratio. Horizontal accelerogram

recorded in El Centro Array #9 during Imperial Valley earthquake, 1940 [50] is used as input

motion for generating the dynamic response of the system. This dynamic analysis is carried out

using the lsim command in MATLAB [51] with a 100 Hz sampling frequency. Figure 3 displays the

rst oors absolute acceleration responses using two different kinds of TFDs, viz. WVD and

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

SPWVD. Here we see that the SPWVD has better time and frequency resolutions, because of the

reduced cross-terms; thus, we adopt it for all subsequent analyses.

Remark 2

As expected, the higher mode energies of the system with stiffness-proportional damping are much

lower than those of the lower modes. Their small contributions, which occur during a limited time

window, render traditional frequency methods (e.g., Fourier transform) to be insufcient for system

identication. The proposed method, on the other hand, can make use of this limited information

and yield the structures dynamic properties in its higher modes, as will be demonstrated below.

Application of the BSS time-frequency decomposition presented earlier with E

4

=0.001 (E

1

and E

2

are

not used, as data are noise free in this example) yields the auto-sources shown in Figure 4, where selected

points at both ends of the time axis are discarded because of edge effects. As this gure indicates, the 4th

and 5th modes of the stiffness-proportional system are contributing only around the arrival-time of the

excitation waves. However, because of the light damping in higher modes, the system with mass-

proportional damping responds in all modes at all times during the excitation. Comparing the identied

mode shapes with their analytical counterparts conrms this observation. This comparison can be

quantitatively made with the modal assurance criterion (MAC) values calculated through,

MAC

i

f

a

i

:f

i

i

_ _

2

f

a

i

_

_

_

_

2

f

i

i

_

_

_

_

2

(50)

where f

i

i

and f

a

i

denote the i-th identied and the analytical mode shapes, respectively. The MAC

indices for all modes are presented in Table I for the two systems. The MAC values for all modes of

both systems are higher than 90%, which favorably suggests that the proposed method is highly

accurate. Nevertheless, the fourth and fth modes of the structure with stiffness-proportional damping

have distinctly lower MAC values. To investigate this, we applied the BSS-TFD technique to eight

equal-sized time windows, which yielded the variation of MAC value with respect to time. Figure 5

Figure 4. Selected points for BSS of systems with (a) stiffness-proportional and (b) mass-proportional damping.

Table I. Comparison of the analytical and the identied modal properties.

Identied

Stiff. prop. Mass prop. Analytical

Mode no. f

n

(Hz) x

s

(%) MAC f

n

(Hz) x

m

(%) MAC f

n

(Hz) x

s

(%) x

m

(%)

1 1.12 0.50 1.000 1.11 10.36 1.000 1.11 0.50 10.00

2 2.56 1.13 1.000 2.53 4.28 0.996 2.56 1.15 4.34

3 4.02 1.69 0.998 3.99 2.87 0.994 4.05 1.82 2.75

4 5.63 2.72 0.928 5.74 1.66 0.982 5.66 2.55 1.96

5 7.35 3.33 0.929 8.03 1.58 0.994 8.13 3.66 1.37

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

displays the said time variation of MAC values for both systems (markers in these plots are located at the

end-time of each time window). As this gure indicates, the 4th and 5th modes can be more accurately

identied only during the rst time window for the system with stiffness-proportional damping; whereas,

for the system with mass-proportional damping, the proposed method yields nearly the same results at all

time windows.

Remark 3

It is worth mentioning here that the use of all of the data can increase the MAC values, as it happened

for the 4th mode of the system with stiffness-proportional damping. The primary reason for this

phenomenon is related to the JAD procedure, which seeks orthogonal directions. Thus, it extracts the

estimates of inactive modes even at time-frequency points at which they are not contributing.

The application of the second step of the identication process yields the natural frequencies and

damping ratios of the two systems as shown in Table I. The exact/analytical values are shown here

also for comparison. As can be seen, for both systems, the identied modal values are nearly the same,

especially for the lower modes. It is important to note here that the inaccuracies in the identied frequency

and damping ratio values primarily belong to the previous step, which produced inaccurate modal

coordinates. The natural frequencies and damping ratios presented in Table I are the average of (n 1)

solutions (their variations are not presented here for brevity). Results indicate that variations of the identied

natural frequencies are negligible, while the identied damping ratios for the mass-proportional system

display some variations. However, these variations are mostly due to errors accrued during modal

decomposition, because the second step of the proposed method works perfectly for exact modal coordinates.

To prove this statement, the identication technique was applied to the exact modal coordinates,

which resulted in exact natural frequencies and damping ratios (again, omitted here for brevity).

4.2. A simulated soilstructure system for method verication

The 5-DOF structure introduced in the previous section is now placed on a exible foundation to

model a new 7-DOF soilstructure system with two additional DOFs (foundation sway and system

rocking). The foundation mass, and the horizontal and rocking soil stiffnesses are as m

f

= 3 10

5

,

k

h

= 9 10

8

, and k

r

= 3 10

10

, respectively. Mass moment of inertia of all stories and the foundation

are set as I

i

= 25m

i

, wherein m

i

denotes story mass. Also, a constant story height equal to 4 m is

considered for all stories. For the sake of simplicity, only mass-proportional damping is considered

so that the rst mode has a 10% damping ratio. Similar to the xed-base example, dynamic analysis

with the same horizontal input motion is carried out in MATLAB [51] with a 100 Hz sampling

frequency. Figure 6 displays the SPWVD graphs of foundations and roofs absolute acceleration

responses along with rocking response of the system. As can be seen, all modes are not detectable

in all DOFs. For example, the highest mode is only observed in foundations response, while the

Figure 5. Time variation of MAC for systems with (a) stiffness-proportional and (b) mass-proportional

damping.

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

roofs response is composed of the rst three modes. This gure also shows that rocking response is

mainly affected by the fourth mode.

Using all DOFs absolute accelerations, mode shapes are identied by applying the BSS time-

frequency decomposition method with E

4

= 0.001. The calculated MAC indices for all modes are

1.000, 0.993, 0.997, 0.737, 0.981, 0.998, and 0.996, which indicates that the 4th mode is not

identied accurately. However, this mode is a rocking mode, and the MAC index is low because the

order of rotation is small compared with the horizontal displacement. For this reason, the

COordinate Modal Assurance Criterion [52] index is calculated for all DOFs, which is dened as

COMAC

l

X

7

k1

f

a

kl

f

i

kl

_ _

2

X

7

k1

f

a

kl

2

_ _

X

7

k1

f

i

kl

2

_ _ (51)

where f

a

kl

and f

i

kl

denote the analytical and the identied mode shapes, respectively, at the l-th DOF in

the k-th mode. This index for foundation sway and rocking and the other ve structural DOFs are

0.8271, 0.9226, 0.8795, 0.9201, 0.9207, 0.9361, and 0.9505, respectively. As seen, the rocking

DOFs deformation, which is the dominant deformation in the fourth mode, is identied well.

Repeating the decomposition process with only ve signals (excluding the foundations horizontal

and rocking response signals), ve modes are identied. A comparison of the identied and analytical

mode shapes indicates that the identied modes are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th modes. MAC indices

for the identied mode shapes are 1.000, 0.996, 0.998, 0.978, and 0.996. Thus, although the exclusion

of two response signals converts this case to an under-determined problem, ve modes are still

identiable. Figure 7 displays the time variation of MAC values for both cases. As this gure

indicates, the MAC index for mode 4 is high between 25 to 30 s, because during this time window,

the contribution of mode 4 relative to other modes is signicant (cf., Figure 6). Moreover, as can be

seen in Figure 7(b), all identied modes are nearly accurate in all time segments, even with only

Figure 6. SPWVDs of foundation (a) translation and (b) rocking, and (c) roof translation responses under the

El Centro Array #9 accelerogram recorded during the 1940 Imperial Valley earthquake [50].

Figure 7. Time variation of MAC index for two cases: (a) using all DOFs response signals and (b) excluding

foundation horizontal and rocking response.

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

ve sensors. The averages of the identied natural frequencies and damping ratios using two sets of

sensors are presented in Table II. This table shows that the identied values using ve sensors are

fairly as accurate. Nevertheless, excluding the foundation and rocking sensors results in identication

errors, especially for the rst mode damping ratio.

4.3. Application of proposed method to data recorded at the Van Nuys Hotel

Herein, we apply the proposed method to real-life data recorded at the Van Nuys Hotel. Data are

provided by the Centre for Engineering Strong Motion Data website (http://strongmotioncenter.org).

This building is ideally suited for the present study, because there are several structural vibration

records from damaged states with extents that range from moderate to severe [19]. Not surprisingly,

quite a number of studies have been conducted on data from this building. A brief summary of

those studies along with a description and history of the building are presented in what follows.

The Van Nuys Hotel is a 7-story building with a 6200 m

2

oor plan, located in the San Fernando

Valley of Los Angeles County, California (34.2203 N, 118.4713 W). It was designed in 1965 and

built during 1966 [53]. The structure is essentially symmetric in both directions. Spandrel beams and

exterior columns form the primary frame that resists the lateral loads in both directions. The oors

are reinforced concrete at slabs. The structure sits atop a group of pile foundations on recent

alluvial soils that primarily consist of ne silty sands [54]. The building was rst lightly, and then

severely damaged during the 1971 San Fernando (M6.6), and the 1994 Northridge earthquakes

(M6.7), respectively. After the 1994 earthquake, the building was retrotted with new reinforced

concrete shear walls in the eastwest direction at exterior frames [53].

The building was instrumented in 1980 through the California Strong Motion Instrumentation

Program (CSMIP Station No. 24386). Of the 16-channel recording system, which comprises uni-

axial, bi-axial, and tri-axial instruments, only ve channels are devoted to the eastwest direction.

These ve channels are mounted on the ground, second, third, sixth, and roof levels. Several

researchers have used acceleration data provided by these instruments to determine the natural

frequencies and damping ratios of the building. Ambient tests conducted soon after construction in

1967, and following the 1971 San Fernando earthquake before and after a seismic retrot revealed

that the rst natural frequency of the eastwest response decreased from 1.89 Hz before the

earthquake to 1.39 Hz after the earthquake, and then increased to 1.56 Hz following repair [55]. Two

detailed ambient vibration tests were also conducted by Ivanovic et al. [54] after the 1994

Northridge earthquake. They placed sensors on one of the interior eastwest frame at all oors to

determine the lateral frequencies. They reported the frequencies of the system as 1.0, 3.5, and 5.7 Hz

for three translational modes in the EW direction. Note that all of the aforementioned frequencies

are apparent (or pseudo-exible base) frequencies, because they are calculated from relative

spectra of the response signals to the ground oor signals, while rocking response is not excluded [56].

Owing to the existence of large sets of recorded earthquake data, there were also numerous attempts

to estimate apparent natural frequencies from recorded seismic responses. Trifunac et al. [57, 58]

studied the changes in natural frequencies of the building from earthquake to earthquake, using

Table II. Comparison of the identied and analytical modal properties.

Identied

5 Sensors 7 Sensors Analytical

Mode no. f

n

(Hz) x(%) f

n

(Hz) x(%) f

n

(Hz) x(%)

1 0.99 28.00 0.90 8.02 0.91 10.00

2 2.42 3.42 2.43 3.76 2.45 3.70

3 3.87 2.34 3.86 2.29 3.87 2.34

4 4.81 1.83 4.91 1.85

5 5.44 1.53 5.30 1.59 5.43 1.67

6 7.72 1.17 7.59 1.21 7.57 1.20

7 10.96 0.83 10.97 0.83

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

Fourier analyses and short-time Fourier transform techniques. Table III displays some of their results,

where the rst apparent frequency of the building in the EW direction at the beginning and end of ve

earthquakes, along with its minimum value obtained during shaking, is presented. On the basis of these

results, Trifunac et al. concluded that the system frequencies changed from one earthquake to another,

and with the intensity of shaking.

In another study, Alimoradi and Naeim [19] used ground oor responses recorded during the

1992 Big Bear and 1994 Northridge earthquakes as input. They identied the rst (EW) natural

frequency as 0.87 Hz from Big Bear data. They went on to apply their method to three segments of

the Northridge data, and estimated the natural frequencies of the rst three modes along the EW

direction as 0.61, 1.90, 3.41 (rst segment), 0.56, 1.74, 3.11 (second segment), and 0.48, 1.82,

4.20 Hz (third segment). They also found the damping ratios to be approximately 10% for all modes

for segment 1, 15% for all modes for segment 2, and 6.7%, 8.4%, and 15% for three modes for

segment 3 of the Northridge data. However, if SSI is signicant for this building, as reported by

Trifunac et al. [57, 58], then neither the xed-base nor the exible-base natural frequencies were

identied in their study. Indeed, they have extracted pseudo-exible-base parameters, that is, rocking

motion is included, but sway is excluded.

Recently, Todorovska and Trifunac [59] used wave travel times of vertically propagating waves in

the Van Nuys building between the ground oor and roof to estimate the rst natural frequency of the

xed-base system in the EW direction. They found that the xed-base system vibrated at a frequency

of around 1.2 Hz during the Landers and the Big Bear earthquakes (both occurred in 1992). They also

found that the rst frequency varied from 0.85 to 0.55 Hz during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

As the summaries of previous studies indicate, there appear to be several unresolved issues

regarding the interpretation of data recorded at the Van Nuys Hotel. To wit,

Apparent natural frequencies of the system identied from ambient tests are different from those

expected during earthquakes (we also note that the damping ratios have not been reported in [54]).

In calculating the apparent natural frequencies, rocking response is included, but sway is discarded.

To identify the dynamic characteristics of the system from strong motion data, two approaches

were used: (i) assuming the ground oor response as the input motion [19], and (ii) extracting

information from the relative response spectra [57, 58]. The rst approach is not applicable for

buildings that interact with the surrounding soil (Van Nuys Hotel appears to have this attribute),

and the second approach cannot be used to identify the natural frequencies and damping ratios of

soilstructure systems.

As demonstrated through the simulated (verication) problem earlier, the identication method

proposed herein is able to accurately estimate the modal characteristics from strong motion data

without the need to know Foundation Input Motions. As such, aforementioned problems regarding

the Van Nuys buildings data can be overcome with the proposed method, which is applied here to

data recorded at the four eastwest channels. The ground oor data are excluded because of its

evidently low signal-to-noise ratio. Because of the limited number of sensors along the height of the

building, we seek only the rst three translational modes along the EW direction, and use the data

recorded during four relatively strong earthquakes, which are summarized in Table IV. In addition

to the high level of recorded peak amplitudes (except for the Big Bear earthquake), these

earthquakes are specically chosen so that the identied results can be compared with the previous

studies mentioned earlier. We use the full lengths of recorded signals for the Whittier, Landers, and

Table III. The rst EW apparent natural frequency of Van Nuys Hotel reported by Trifunac et al. [57, 58].

Number Earthquake Date M f

beg

(Hz) f

end

(Hz) f

min

(Hz)

1 San Fernando 02/09/1971 6.6 1.05 0.85 0.70

2 Whittier 10/01/1987 5.9 1.00 0.75 0.80

3 Landers 06/28/1992 7.5 1.00 1.30 0.70

4 Big Bear 06/28/1992 6.5 0.80 0.80 0.80

5 Northridge 01/17/1994 6.4 0.95 0.60 0.45

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

Big Bear earthquakes, and divide the Northridge data into four 15-s segments, because signicant

damages have been reported during this earthquake.

Figure 8 displays the mode shapes identied through the proposed method with E

2

= 0.01 and

E

4

= 0.001. The identied rst modes for all earthquake data (Figure 8(a)) appear nearly the same;

although a small discrepancy is observed at the lower stories during the latter portions of Northridge

earthquake, which is arguably related to the reported damages. This discrepancy is also observed for

the Big Bear earthquake, which may be related to measurement noise, because the level of shaking

is fairly low in this earthquake.

Remark 4

It is useful to note here that the sensors are limited to points shown by markers in Figure 2, and linear

interpolation is used for the mode shape displacements of other stories. Additionally, the contribution

of torsional modes may cause further inaccuracies in estimating the translational modes.

Remark 5

Figures 8(b) and (c) imply that changes are occurring during the nal 45 s of the Northridge earth-

quake: the second and especially the third mode shapes identied from these data windows are differ-

ent from their earlier versions. Because of the limited number of sensors, it is not possible to exactly

identify the location of these changes (a potential extension of the technique proposed here for local-

izing damage is deferred to a future study). Nevertheless, as a comparison, the mode shapes identied

from the last segment of the Northridge earthquake are redrawn in Figure 9, along with mode shapes

identied from ambient tests conducted one month after this earthquake [54]. This gure reveals that

the proposed method can extract the mode shapes of this structure by using only four signals recorded

during the Northridge earthquake (note that the identied mode shapes from ambient data are related to

a pseudo-exible-base system).

Table IV. Earthquake data used in this study.

Number Earthquake Date M Dist. (km) PGA* (g) PSA** (g)

1 Whittier 10/01/1987 5.9 41 0.17 0.20

2 Landers 06/28/1992 7.5 187 0.04 0.19

3 Big Bear 06/28/1992 6.5 152 0.03 0.06

4 Northridge 01/17/1994 6.4 7 0.47 0.59

*PGA, peak ground acceleration.

**PSA, peak structure acceleration.

Figure 8. The identied mode shapes. (a) rst mode, (b) second mode, and (c) third mode.

S. F. GHAHARI ET AL.

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

In the second step, natural frequencies and damping ratios are extracted from the identied modal

coordinates. The obtained results are displayed in Table V. As observed, natural frequencies, especially

in the rst mode, are decreasing during successive earthquakes, which may be an indication of damage.

The said trend is only violated during the nal segment of the Northridge earthquake. More specically,

the minimum rst natural frequency is observed during the third segment of the Northridge earthquake,

potentially because nonlinearities/damage occurred during that segment, and then it is seen recovering

during the last segment, which incidentally is consistent with the results reported in Figure 10 of Ref. [59].

Remark 6

Damping ratios higher than 20% are not reported here, because they are unusual for civil structures. It

is also useful to note that the natural frequencies and damping ratios identied here may be question-

able because of potential contributions from other (undetected torsional or other higher) modes.

5. CONCLUSIONS

A new system identication method was presented. This method can identify modal properties of civil

structures from their recorded responses when the input motion is unknown. Contrary to currently

available output-only techniques, which are only applicable to ambient vibration data, the proposed

method is able to extract dynamic characteristics of structures using strong motion responses. This is

quite attractive, because the actual input motions exciting the structures are rarely recordable during

earthquakes. This is especially true for the case of soilstructure systems where neither the free-eld

motion nor the recorded response of foundation may be assumed as input to the system. This

Figure 9. Comparison between the mode shapes identied from the last 15 s of the 1994 Northridge

Earthquake data (black), and from ambient test one month after that [54] (gray).

Table V. Identied natural frequencies and damping ratios from earthquake response.

Mode No. Whittier Landers Big Bear Northridge-1 Northridge-2 Northridge-3 Northridge-4

f

n

(Hz) 1 0.87 0.86 0.77 0.63 0.50 0.43 0.50

2 2.92 3.31 2.29 2.00 1.66 1.46 1.13

3 5.41 5.50 4.54 4.24 3.43 3.07 2.81

x(%) 1 8.96 7.51 9.76 2.72 16.67 11.38 12.62

2 7.34 5.01 1.71 9.41 7.25

3 13.74 7.89 3.83 1.67 16.76

RESPONSE-ONLY MODAL IDENTIFICATION OF STRUCTURES USING STRONG MOTION DATA

Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/eqe

method comprises two steps. First, a time-frequency blind source separation technique is employed to

decompose the recorded response into a linear combination of modal coordinate signals for which the

combination factors are the mode shapes. In the second step, modal cross-relations are employed to

extract the natural frequencies and damping ratios. To verify the proposed method, two numerical

simulations were presented: (i) identication of a xed-base system without having the input motion

(i.e., the foundation response); and (ii) identication of a exible-base system without having the

foundation input motion (i.e., the result of kinematic interaction between the foundation and the

surrounding soil). Moreover, response signals recorded at the Van Nuys Hotel during four strong

earthquakes were used as a case study. Identication results for both scenarios, that is, simulated

and real-life data, indicate that the proposed method can be successfully employed to identify

dynamic properties of civil structures.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The work presented in this manuscript was funded, in part, by the NSF Grant CMMI-0755333. Any

opinions, ndings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors

and do not necessarily reect the views of the sponsoring agency. The authors also would like to thank

Professor Boashash for providing MATLAB codes for calculating the time-frequency distributions.

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