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  • 1.
    Saback de Freitas Bello, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. SINTEF Narvik AS , Narvik , Norway.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Asset Management of Existing Concrete Bridges Using Digital Twins and BIM: a State-of-the-Art Literature Review2022In: Nordic Concrete Research, ISSN 0800-6377, Vol. 66, no 1, p. 91-111Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The need to optimize investments in bridge maintenance has created a demand for improved bridge management systems (BMS). Outdated practices in bridge inspection and constant advances in information technology have also contributed to this demand. The use of Digital Twins (DT), although well established in other industries, is still incipient for asset management and structural analysis of bridges. There is a great deal of research on Building Information Modelling (BIM) for bridge inspection, but its post-construction potential is still under-explored. This study presents a state-of-the-art review of the literature on asset management for bridges using digital models such as BIM and digital twins. The review was conducting using a systematic approach. Despite the rapid increase in research on DT and the amount of existing research on BIM, several gaps remain to be addressed, such as the lack of consensus about the definition of digital twins, which has led to wrongful categorisation of digital models as DT. The complex data flow and software compatibility required to develop a functional DT have hindered the exploitation of their full potential so far. The integration of BIM post-construction to BMS and existing automation technologies can also significantly improve current practices of bridge management.

  • 2.
    Saback de Freitas Bello, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. SINTEF Narvik AS, Narvik, 8517, Norway.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Bridge management systems: overview and framework for smart management2021In: IABSE Congress Ghent 2021: Structural Engineering for Future Societal Needs / [ed] H. H. (Bert) Snijder; Bart De Pauw; Sander van Alphen; Pierre Mengeot, International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) , 2021, p. 1014-1022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Throughout the world, many medieval and historic bridges remain in operation. Deterioration and failures have increased in the already aging bridges due to consistent growth in traffic volume and axle loads. Therefore, the importance of Bridge Management Systems (BMS) to ensure safety of operation and maximize maintenance investments has also increased. Recent improvements in technology also contribute to the demand for optimized and more resource-efficient BMS. In this study, a literature review was performed to map current bridge management practices and systems in operation in the world. The outcomes identified Bridge Information Modelling (BrIM) and Digital Twins as novel approaches that enable efficient management of the whole lifecycle of a bridge.From these outcomes, a framework of an ideal BMS is proposed to achieve automated and smart management of bridges.

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  • 3.
    Saback de Freitas Bello, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Framework for Bridge Management Systems (BMS) Using Digital Twins2022In: Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the European Association on Quality Control of Bridges and Structures / [ed] Carlo Pellegrino; Flora Faleschini; Mariano Angelo Zanini; José C. Matos; Joan R. Casas; Alfred Strauss, Springer, 2022, Vol. 200, p. 687-694Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bridge structures have significantly long life spans; many medieval and historic bridges remain in operation in the world. The concept of bridge management contains the activities related to managing bridge inspections and condition assessment, which can be gathered into a Bridge Management System (BMS). Deterioration and failures have increased over the years in the already aging bridges; therefore, the importance of BMS to ensure safety of bridge operation and maximize investments in bridge maintenance has also increased. Digital Twin (DT) technology can be applied in the construction industry to achieve smart management through the entire life cycle of structures. Unlike the aerospace and manufacturing industries, the maturity of development of DT models in the construction industry still lags behind. In this study, a literature review was initially performed to gather knowledge on the origins of the digital twin concept and current best practice focused on bridge structures. A systematic approach for the literature review is presented in the methodology. Lastly, a framework for facility management of bridge structures using digital twins is proposed.

  • 4.
    Saback de Freitas Bello, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. SINTEF Narvik AS, Narvik, 8517, Norway.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Framework for facility management of bridge structures using digital twins2021In: IABSE Congress Ghent 2021: Structural Engineering for Future Societal Needs / [ed] H. H. (Bert) Snijder; Bart De Pauw; Sander van Alphen; Pierre Mengeot, International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) , 2021, p. 629-637Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The maturity of Digital Twin (DT) models has evolved in the aerospace and manufacturing industries; however, the construction industry still lags behind. DT technology can be applied to achieve smart management through the entire life cycle of structures. Particularly for bridge structures, which play an essential role in any transportation system and can have high maintenance demands throughout their long life spans. In this study, a literature review on DTs was performed, from the origins of the concept until current best practice focused on bridges. Especially concerning structural analysis and facility management, few studies that employ DT for bridges were encountered. The main challenges identified are related to treatment of the large amount of data involved in the process, mostly gathered from different platforms. Finally, a framework for smart facility management of bridges using DTs was proposed to tackle potential solutions

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  • 5.
    Saback, Vanessa
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Digital Twins for Asset Management of Civil Structures: Can we close the gap between perceived potential and practical applications?2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Saback, Vanessa
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Digital Twins for Asset Management of Structures2022Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis deals with asset management of structures through Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Digital Twins.

    Background: Current inspection and management processes for civil structures are time-consuming and can even be inaccurate. There is an increasingly high potential to improve these processes through recent advances in technology. Digital Twins offer a common platform to these technologies, so they can interact and be used to their optimal performance. Other industries have significantly advanced in the development of Digital Twins, however, in the construction industry there are still many gaps and room for improvement.

    Aim and objectives: The main aim of this project was to investigate the status of Digital Twins in the construction industry and propose a methodology for a Digital Twin for asset management of structures. The three immediate objectives sought are (i) Perform a literature review to establish the current practice with digital twins, in both construction and other industries, and what are the gaps for asset management of structures; (ii) Participate in a pilot experimental program that yields data to a potential digital twin prototype; and (iii) Define a methodology for a digital twin for asset management of structures which fills the identified gaps.

    Methods of investigation: A literature review was performed and served as basis for the development of a methodology for a digital twin. A pilot experimental program was defined and performed, and its results were used for BIM and Finite Element (FE) models. A webapp was also created using Autodesk Forge and Java programming language, andthe BIM model was uploaded into it.

    Results: The literature review provided insight into the maturity level of digital twins, as well as on bridge inspection, maintenance and monitoring, BIM, facility and asset management, and Bridge Management Systems (BMS). A methodology to achieve a digital twin for asset management was proposed, and the conducted experimental program yielded data results to be used in future research.

    Conclusion: There has been significant progress in technology to improve structural assessment and analysis, however, their full potential is still under-explored. A digital twin created in a common data environment can provide a platform for these technologies to improve efficiency of current practices. Nonetheless, the construction industry is still significantly behind other industries such as aerospace and automotive.

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  • 7.
    Saback, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Eliasson, Jens
    Daescu, Cosmin
    Gonzalez-Libreros, Jaime
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Sas, Gabriel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Digital Twins for asset management: case study of snow galleries in northern SwedenManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of digital twin (DT) technology within the engineering and construction (E&C) industry is valuable for practical applications in asset management of structures. Functional DT in E&C, however, are still in initial stages of development. Efforts towards standardization of concepts and procedures are necessary to build on existing knowledge and drive progress further on functional DT. This paper proposes a DT of a snow gallery, part of the Iron Ore railway in northern Sweden. The gallery was instrumented with a structural health monitoring (SHM) system that feeds data in real time to the DT, which also includes a 3D model of the gallery. The proposed methodology can be replicated to different structures and scaled for larger amounts of data. The SHM data and the 3D digital model of the snow gallery are connected in a single, integrated platform that enables improved decision-making for maintenance of the gallery. To promote clarity and progress within the field, the proposed DT’s maturity level is classified in terms of autonomy, intelligence, learning, and fidelity. The snow galleries, the SHM system, and the proposed DT are all presented and discussed, following a brief review on DT, the importance of level classification, and predictive maintenance.

  • 8.
    Saback, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Eliasson, Jens
    Gonzalez-Libreros, Jaime
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Sas, Gabriel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Digital Twins for asset management: platform for predictive maintenance and Trough Bridge case studyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Digital twins (DT) are seen as a transformative solution for the Engineering & Construction (E&C) industry’s challenges. However, there is a gap between DT research and operational applications. This paper proposes a framework for a DT, exemplified by a trough bridge case study at Luleå University of Technology (LTU). Traditional bridge management relies on manual, time-consuming methods, leading to reduced accuracy and reliability. The DT platform integrates a 3D model with real-time Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) data, providing a collaborative environment for asset management. The proposed platform can be scalable to other structures; it facilitates data interpretation and decision-making, offering a step towards enhanced asset management practices. By bridging the gap between potential and operational applications of DT technology, this study contributes to the evolution of efficient asset management practices in the E&C industry.

  • 9.
    Saback, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Gonzalez‐Libreros, Jaime
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Daescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania.
    Hojsten, Tommy
    Swedish Road Administration Trafikverket, Sweden.
    Sas, Gabriel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Evaluation of the snow loads on the snow galleries on the Iron Ore Line in Northern Sweden2023In: ce/papers, ISSN 2509-7075, Vol. 6, no 5, p. 221-228Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Iron Ore Line is a railway in northern Sweden and Norway, crucial for iron oretransportation. Snow galleries safeguard this route, ensuring uninterrupted trafficfor efficient operations. A snow gallery is a protective structure that shields roadsand railways from heavy snowfall and avalanches. Reported damages to these structures caused by excessive snow loads have prompted an investigation to preventfurther issues. This paper presents an analysis of the evolution of snow load calculations over time, though a comparison of Swedish design standards. The designsnow loads required by current standards have increased up to 60% from the initialregulations, depending on the location of the structure. Besides, climate change ispredicted to further increase snow loads due to more frequent winter precipitation,higher snow density, and extreme snowfall events. This analysis is part of a broaderresearch project involving numerical simulations, live monitoring, and a digital twinmonitoring system of some snow galleries in the Iron Ore Line. 

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  • 10.
    Saback, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Gonzalez-Libreros, Jaime
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Daescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. Department of Civil Engineering and Installations (CCI), Politehnica University of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. SINTEF Narvik AS, Narvik, Norway.
    Garmabaki, Amir Soleimani
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.
    Sas, Gabriel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Adapting to climate change: snow load assessment of snow galleries on the Iron Ore Line in Northern Sweden2024In: Frontiers in Built Environment, E-ISSN 2297-3362, Vol. 9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The snow galleries along the Iron Ore railway line in northern Sweden have facedproblems in recent years due to increasingly large snow loads, and several gallerieshave been damaged. These incidents motivated an evaluation of the maximumload supported by the galleries before collapse, which is presented in this study. In2021, a monitoring system was installed in one of the main frames of two snowgalleries built in the 1950s to follow up with temperature and displacements,including a trigger that sends out a warning message when a critical load isreached. A literature review on snow loads was performed, followed bycalculations on snow distribution on the galleries based on the Eurocodes andNational Swedish Standards. Finite element 2D and 3D models were created usingAxisVM to accurately assess the efforts in the structural elements. Analysis anddiscussion are complemented by observations from site visits. It was concludedthat the critical loads supported by the galleries are lower than the requirements oftoday’s standards, but since secondary construction elements were damagedbefore the main frames reached their full capacity, no major collapse has yet takenplace. The cobweb effect (load re-distribution between the neighboring elementsin a 3D structure) influenced the behavior of the galleries in the 3D analysis and thecapacity of the main frames proved to be significantly increased compared to the2D assessment.

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  • 11.
    Saback, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Mirzazade, Ali
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Gonzalez, Jaime
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. SINTEF Narvik AS, Narvik, 8517, Norway.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Daescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania.
    Petersson, Mats
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Crack monitoring by fibre optics and image correlation: a pilot study2022In: IABSE Symposium Prague, 2022: Challenges for Existing and Oncoming Structures, Report, International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering, 2022, p. 437-444, article id O-048Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As reinforced concrete structures reach the end of their design lives, technology for improving accuracy and efficiency of inspections and structural health monitoring rapidly progresses. Concrete cracking and reinforcement strains are two relevant parameters in assessing damage and safety ofthese structures. The use of Digital Image Correlation (DIC) systems and distributed Fibre Optic Sensors (FOS) to evaluate these parameters are two of the technologies that have been gaining momentum due to their advantages over other approaches. This study presents an experimental investigation of crack propagation of a reinforced concrete beam specimen through FOS and DIC.The FOS were positioned inside a groove carved in the rebar and in the concrete immediately outside the bar for comparison. The results showed a significant difference between both positions, with more reliable data coming from inside the bar. The addition of the DIC crack propagation images to the FOS analysis complemented the results, and good visual correlation was identified between both methods. This study is part of a broader research program, which aims at applying DIC and FOS for structural health monitoring of a real scale bridge structure.

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  • 12.
    Saback, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. SINTEF Narvik AS, 8517 Narvik, Norway.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Analysis of Digital Twins in the Construction Industry: Practical Applications, Purpose, and Parallel with other Industries2024In: Buildings, E-ISSN 2075-5309, Vol. 14, no 5, article id 1361Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Digital Twins (DT) have become a widely discussed subject, believed to have the potential to solve various problems across different industries, including Engineering & Construction (E&C). However, there is still significant misconception concerning the definition of DT and their purpose within E&C. This study dives deep into identifying DT applications within E&C and the other prominent industries, i.e., Aerospace & Aviation, Manufacturing, Energy & Utilities, Automotive, Healthcare, Smart Cities, Oil & Gas, and Retail. The main challenges to the evolution of DT practical applications are also analyzed. A combination of literature review, multi-case study analysis, and comparative analysis compose the deployed methodology. Standardization and a maturity level classification are proposed to drive progress of the adoption of DT. The distinct aspects of the different industries and their assets are evaluated to the conclusion that DT are better employed to maintenance of structures within E&C. DT have become a well-worn topic, but the abundance of complex theoretical frameworks is met with simple or inexistent practical applications. Therefore, the novelty of this study lays in its comprehensive analysis of DT applications and real-world implementations – a departure from the often-theoretical discussions surrounding DTs.

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  • 13.
    Saback, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Purpose-driven roadmap for widespread adoption of Digital Twins in the Engineering & Construction industryManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Saback, Vanessa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Popescu, Cosmin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. SINTEF Narvik AS, 8517, Narvik, Norway.
    Täljsten, Björn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Blanksvärd, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
    Analysis of Digital Twins in the Construction Industry: Current Trends and Applications2023In: Building for the Future: Durable, Sustainable, Resilient - Proceedings of the fib Symposium 2023 - Volume 2 / [ed] Alper Ilki, Derya Çavunt, Yavuz Selim Çavunt, Springer, 2023, Vol. 2, p. 1080-1088Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The construction industry has a significant impact in terms of financialand environmental resources but is vastly behind other sectors in terms of digitalization.The potential of this industry to be improved by new technology has beenreflected in huge trends in research for terms such as “digital twins”. However, thepurpose of such technologies and how they can be applied to specific needs andassets in the construction sector is not always clear. This paper proposes an analysisof the purpose, current and future states of digital twins in the constructionindustry, based on a reviewof the evolution of research in the topic and recentmarketapplications. Even though there is a discrepancy between research and levelof development of tangible applications, it is undeniable that the digital transformationwill reach the construction industry. The efforts should then be focusedon technology that can be translated to its assets, such as smart management, andwill generate tangible results that can survive outside the theoretical realm.

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