The Use of Numerical Rule Processors in Engineering Calculations

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by I. A. MacLeod, Univ of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom,
N. Ades, Univ of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom,
M. Y. Rafiq, Univ of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom,
F. H. Kor, Univ of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil and Building Engineering

Abstract: A Numerical Rule Processor uses a declarative approach to the processing of engineering calculations. The rules which link the parameters are set out in a separate rule base and the order of processing is established at run time rather than being in a fixed program. This mode of operation is very effective for situations where synthesis of parameter values is required because of the increased flexibility afforded to the user as compared with procedural processing. A spreadsheet is a basic numerical rule processor and the paper discusses two other types of processor. DESIGNER-M provides a graphic interface from which a set of commands can be called to perform various operations on the parameters. Its use is briefly illustrated with reference to the sizing of a reinforced concrete beam. Finally TK SolverTM is discussed. This has very good functionality making it much superior to the use of a spreadsheet for most engineering calculations.

Subject Headings: Reinforced concrete | Concrete beams | Numerical methods | Parameters (statistics) | Spreadsheets | Graphic methods | Girders |

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