Structural Optimization by Equilibrium Linear Programming

by Kenneth F. Reinschmidt, (M.ASCE), Sr. Research Assoc.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,
Thanet Norabhoompipat, Grad. Student; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, Pa.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 4, Pg. 919-936

Document Type: Journal Paper


A technique for preliminary structural design is developed, based upon the logic used by practicing designers. By considering only the conditions of static equilibrium and stress admissibility, a linear problem results that can be solved by ordinary linear programming. The solution to this problem gives an initial design that is generally close to the final optimum solution. An exact elastic solution satisfying compatibility as well as equilibrium and stress admissibility can be found by subsequent nonlinear optimization based upon a flexibility approach. Computer results presented for steel grillage design problems with multiple local optimums indicate that the proposed design approach can increase significantly the likelihood of finding the global optimum solution, as opposed to other optimization methods.

Subject Headings: Structural design | Equilibrium | Linear functions | Computer programming | Wood structures | Elastic analysis | Optimization models | Structural steel

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