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Computational Science, Engineering & Technology Series
ISSN 1759-3158
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Chapter 10

Optimum Design of Skeletal Structures: A Review

M.P. Saka

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, University of Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain

Full Bibliographic Reference for this chapter
M.P. Saka, "Optimum Design of Skeletal Structures: A Review", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Progress in Civil and Structural Engineering Computing", Saxe-Coburg Publications, Stirlingshire, UK, Chapter 10, pp 237-284, 2003. doi:10.4203/csets.10.10
Keywords: structural optimization, skeleton structures, mathematical programming, optimality criteria, genetic algorithms.

This chapter reviews the algorithms developed in recent years for optimum design of structures that can be modeled assemblage of line elements. It first introduces the formulation of the general structural optimization problem based on linear-elastic behavior. The design variables, objective function and design constraints are described without referencing to a particular design code. However, implementation of the design requirements defined in design codes is later emphasized. The optimum design problem for skeletal structures with code requirements turns out to be highly nonlinear problem. The techniques developed for the solution of such problems as a result of intensive research in structural optimization are reviewed in a historical order. The structural optimization techniques based on mathematical programming and optimality criteria approach are first presented. This is followed by the recent techniques developed by imitating the design methods exist in the nature. Among these genetic algorithms, simulated annealing and evolutionary structural optimization methods have attracted attention and applied to optimum design of different types of structural problems. However, the current trend indicates that genetic algorithm based structural optimization techniques are quite promising and they are to be used as a standard solution algorithm for the design problem of skeleton structures where the design variables are to be selected from a discrete set.

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