Developing a structural optimization software for efficient and practical optimum design of real-world steel structures

Korucu, Aytaç
Structural engineers have to design not only safe and practical buildings in a reasonably short period but also guarantee that the design generated should be cost-efficient. However, the design of real-world structures in a traditional way is an extremely laborious and time-consuming task, and final designs are often uneconomical. In this study, a computationally efficient, design-driven optimization technique (Guided Evolution Strategy Optimization, GES) is developed for the optimal design of real-world steel structures considering the strength, displacement, and geometric constraints in accordance with the conventional design codes. Structural design engineers demand practical, efficient, and robust software platforms that combine the potential of optimization techniques with design software capabilities. In other words, there is a need for a single master software platform that integrates the optimization software and the design software packages. This way, promising solutions for real-world structures can be obtained practically with reasonable computational power and time. This study also developed a reliable, efficient, flexible, and user-friendly software platform called Structural Optimization Platform Software (SOPS) with the abovementioned capabilities to present a robust infrastructure for designing real-world steel structures. The SOPS's structural analysis and design part (design software component) is carried out externally via the Open Application Programming Interface (OAPI) of the SAP2000 structural analysis program. In addition to GES, various metaheuristic techniques are implemented into the SOPS program package to constitute its optimization software component. The numerical results demonstrate the computational efficiency of the proposed technique (GES) for the optimal design of real-world steel structures subjected to geometric, strength, and displacement constraints in terms of convergence rate and quality of the optimum solution. Moreover, the application of SOPS to the optimization of real-world steel structures demonstrates that SOPS successfully combines the potential of the optimization techniques and the design software capabilities (SAP2000). Furthermore, due to SOPS's real-time monitoring ability, the performance of the optimization techniques can be easily observed in real-time.


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Citation Formats
A. Korucu, “Developing a structural optimization software for efficient and practical optimum design of real-world steel structures,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2022.