Optimum Structural Design by Dynamic Programming

by P. Packia Raj, Struct. Engr.; Arthur G. McKee & Co., San Mateo, Calif.,
S. Olani Durrant, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. in Civ. Engrg.; Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 8, Pg. 1575-1589

Document Type: Journal Paper


Dynamic programming or recursive optimization is especially useful for multistage processes in which decisions taken at one stage do not effect the previous stages. Dynamic programming is ideally suited for sequential decision processes, such as structural design, involving variables changing at discrete, irregular increments. The theory and computational details of dynamic programming for designing optimum structures is presented herein. The method is illustrated by applying it to the optimum profile design of an extra high voltage transmission tower. The nodal positions, arrangement and type of bracings, and leading dimensions are all treated as variables subject to appropriate constraints. The result is the optimum shape of the tower and arrangement of members. The method can be used for multistory buildings.

Subject Headings: Structural design | Structural dynamics | Computer programming | Power transmission | Power transmission towers | Bracing | High-rise buildings | Mid-rise buildings

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