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Computational Technology Reviews
ISSN 2044-8430
Computational Technology Reviews
Volume 9, 2014
Shape and Topology Optimization Design of Skeletal Structures using Metaheuristic Algorithms: A Review
M.P. Saka

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bahrain, Isa Town, Bahrain

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
M.P. Saka, "Shape and Topology Optimization Design of Skeletal Structures using Metaheuristic Algorithms: A Review", Computational Technology Reviews, vol. 9, pp. 31-68, 2014. doi:10.4203/ctr.9.2
Keywords: metaheuristic algorithms, swarm intelligence based algorithms, harmony search method, charged system search, layout and topology optimization.

Metaheuristic optimization algorithms have become standard tools for finding the optimum solutions of engineering design optimization problems in general. This arises from the fact that these algorithms have been proven to be capable and reliable in obtaining the optimum, or near optimum, solutions to large size and complex discrete engineering programming problems in a reasonable amount of time where the exact algorithms perform poorly. It is shown in the literature that these techniques are robust, efficient, and that their performance is not affected by the complexity of the optimization problems. In last two decades, several metaheuristic algorithms have been developed. Amongst these are evolutionary algorithms, which imitate evolutionary biology and make use of the principle of the survival of the fittest to establish a numerical search algorithm. Swarm intelligence is based on the collective behaviour of insect swarm, bird flocking, or fish schooling. Particle swarm optimizers turn this collective behaviour of particles into a numerical optimization algorithm. Harmony search method mimics the musical performance process that takes place when a musician searches for a better state of harmony. Big Bang-Big Crunch method simulates the theory of the evolution of the universe. Fireflies communicate, search for pray and find mates using bioluminescence with varied flashing patterns. Firefly algorithm mimics the social behaviour of fireflies. Charged system search utilizes Coulomb law from electrostatics and the Newtonian laws of mechanics. Ray optimization is based on Snell's light refraction law. Metaheuristic methods, in general, are capable of handling both discrete and continuous variables simultaneously and the design space is not required to be continuous. This feature of metaheuristic algorithms made them preferable in structural shape and sizing design for optimization problems. This paper reviews metaheuristic techniques and their applications in simultaneous structural topology, shape, and size optimization.

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