In the present work a criterion for the minimum measured data set (modes and degree of freedom) required for a successful updating is established in the case of the inverse sensitivity method. The finite element model is used as a tool for the pre-analysis in order to plan the modal experiments, the selection of modes and degree of freedom to put into play in the updating procedure are obtained though the evaluation covariance matrix of the estimated parameters.

A two stage procedure is proposed, in the first part of the work the modal sensitivity problem is reviewed in order to illustrate a systematic procedure capable of enucleating the set of modes that effectively contributes to the updating procedure. Then the procedure is extended to the determination of the minimum number of degrees of freedom to be measured in relation to a desired upper limit for the standard deviation of the structural parameters which are to be updated.

Simple frame structures with different parameter locations are used as examples, the convergence on two parameters maps is used as demonstration of the powerful of the selection procedure to predict the chances of the successful updating.

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