This paper presents a novel approach to damage identification in a class of collocated multi-input multi-output structural systems. In the proposed approach, damage is identified via the structural Markov parameters obtained from a system identification procedure, which is in turn exploited to localize and quantify damage by evaluating relative changes occurring in the mass and stiffness matrices associated with the structural system. To this aim, an explicit relationship between structural Markov parameters versus mass and stiffness matrices is developed. The main strengths of the proposed approach are that it is capable of quantitatively identifying the occurrence of multiple damages associated with both mass and stiffness characteristics in the structural system, and it is computationally efficient in that it is solely based on the structural Markov parameters but does not necessitate costly calculations related to natural frequencies and mode shapes, making it highly attractive for structural damage detection and health monitoring applications. Numerical examples are provided to demonstrate the validity and effectiveness of the proposed approach.

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