Combination of Various Load Processes

by Richard D. Larrabee, (A.M.ASCE), Research Engr.; Shell Development Co., P.O. Box 481, Houston, Tex., 77001,
C. Allin Cornell, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Massachusetts Instit. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 1, Pg. 223-239

Document Type: Journal Paper


A method for computing the probability distribution of combined, time varying loading on a structure is presented. The point crossing method is based on finding a close upper bound to the mean upcrossing rate of a linear combination of scalar load processes. Both smooth, continuous processes and pulse-type processes are included. The solution is a series of single convolutions of two natural descriptors of the load effect process: the first-order or arbitrary-point-in-time probability distribution and the mean upcrossing rate function. An example of the combination of three load processes is included, and the method is compared with others. Implications for load modeling and a format for combined loads in deterministic design codes are analyzed.

Subject Headings: Load distribution | Load factors | Probability | Probability distribution | Load combinations | High-rise buildings | Linear functions | Arbitration

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