Graph based discrete optimization in structural dynamics

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In this study, a relatively simple method of discrete structural optimization with dynamic loads is presented. It is based on a tree graph, representing discrete values of the structural weight. In practical design, the number of such values may be very large. This is because they are equal to the combination numbers, arising from numbers of structural members and prefabricated elements. The starting point of the method is the weight obtained from continuous optimization, which is assumed to be the lower bound of all possible discrete weights. Applying the graph, it is possible to find a set of weights close to the continuous solution. The smallest of these values, fulfilling constraints, is assumed to be the discrete minimum weight solution. Constraints can be imposed on stresses, displacements and accelerations. The short outline of the method is presented in Sec. 2. The idea of discrete structural optimization by means of graphs. The knowledge needed to apply the method is limited to the FEM and graph representation.

The paper is illustrated with two examples. The first one deals with a transmission tower subjected to stochastic wind loading. The second one with a composite floor subjected to deterministic dynamic forces, coming from the synchronized crowd activities, like dance or aerobic.

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