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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 9/10
PROCEEDINGS OF THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CIVIL AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING COMPUTING
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper IV.1

Elements of Formian

H. Nooshin and P. Disney

Space Structures Research Centre, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, England

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
H. Nooshin, P. Disney, "Elements of Formian", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Civil and Structural Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 127-148, 1989. doi:10.4203/ccp.9.4.1
Abstract
Formian is a programming language which may be used for the preparation of engineering data in many disciplines. In particular, Formian may be employed to generate information about various aspects of a structural system including element connectivity, nodal coordinates, loading particulars, joint numbers and support arrangements. The information generated may be used for graphic visualisation of the structural system or may be submitted as input data to an analysis package. Formian is based on the concepts of formex algebra allowing structures to be modelled in a concise and readily understood manner. The data may be generated in terms of parameters and this feature is particularly useful in optimisation processes. Furthermore, the generated data may be stored in the form of a 'rule' and thus complete information about a structural system may be represented in a few lines of formulation. This allows data to be modified easily and provides a convenient means of keeping the information for future reference. The objective of the paper is to introduce the commonly used elements of Formian in an informal manner. No previous knowledge of formex algebra is required for understanding the material presented.

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