American Society of Civil Engineers

A Practical Approach to Optimum Biaxial Column Design and Detailing Using Evolutionary Computing

by Yaqub Rafiq, (Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Plymouth, UK E-mail:
Section: Posters, pp. 2073-2083, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Structures Congress 2012
Abstract: Optimum detailing of reinforcement bars for biaxial columns is a hard problem. Conventional methods of producing a single design solution and the use of optimisation methods to find a single global optimum solution are not what practicing engineers require. This paper introduces an innovative approach to design, in which the emphasis is on the interactive use of evolutionary computing, as a powerful search tool, supported by visualisation techniques, as a powerful exploration tool. This approach replaces the ‘black box’ nature of the optimisation techniques with an interactive approach in which the designer is in full control of the process. Instead of attempting to locate a single solution, clusters of good designs are identified which allows the designer to conduct a more focused search inside these areas of high performance designs. Case studies presented in this paper demonstrate how this approach enhances role of designers as decision makers and enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the design issues.

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