DOI: 10.3390/app132312862 ISSN: 2076-3417

Optimizing Faulting Prediction for Rigid Pavements Using a Hybrid SHAP-TPE-CatBoost Model

Wei Xiao, Changbai Wang, Jimin Liu, Mengcheng Gao, Jianyang Wu
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

Faulting refers to the common and significant distress in Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement (JPCP), which has an adverse impact on the pavement roughness. Nevertheless, the existing fault prediction models continue to heavily rely on conventional linear regression techniques or basic machine learning approaches, which leaves room for improvement in training efficiency and interpretability. To enhance training efficiency and accuracy, this study developed five novel faulting prediction models. These models are based on five basic machine learning algorithms: Random Forest (RF), Additive Boosting (AdaBoost), Gradient Boosting Decision Tree (GBDT), Light Gradient Boosting Machine (LightGBM), and Categorical Boost (CatBoost), combined with the tree-structured Parzen estimator (TPE). The five models are TPE-RF, TPE-AdaBoost, TPE-GBDT, TPE-LightGBM, and TPE-CatBoost. In addition to selecting the best-performing model, this study incorporated the Shapley Additive Explanation (SHAP) technique and developed TPE-SHAP-CatBoost to improve the interpretability of the model’s predictions. The process involved extracting historical data on pavement performance, including 17 variables, from the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) database for 160 instances of observation. Firstly, the Boruta method was used to identify the final set of input variables. Secondly, the TPE technique, which is a Bayesian optimization method, was applied to automatically select the optimal hyperparameters for the base models. Finally, SHAP was used to provide both global and local explanations of the model’s outputs. The results indicate that the TPE-CatBoost model achieves the highest accuracy with an R2 value of 0.906. Furthermore, the TPE-SHAP-CatBoost model identified the primary factors influencing faulting by incorporating SHAP and provided explanations of the model’s results at both the global and local levels. These research findings highlight the ability of the proposed model to accurately predict faulting, providing precise and interpretable guidance for pavement maintenance while reducing workload for pavement engineers in data collection and management.

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