Integrated analysis and design in stochastic optimization

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Virginia Tech


When structural optimization is performed via an iterative solution technique, it is possible to integrate the analysis and design iterations, in an integrated analysis and design procedure. The present work seeks to apply an integrated analysis and design approach in reliability based optimization, when a safety index approach is used.

Two variants of the new approach are presented. Both of them are based on partially converged solution of the optimization procedure. The safety index approach employed allows us to use semi-analytical formulas to calculate the sensitivity derivatives of the safety constraints.

The new approach is applied to the design of a simple structure. Both methods are robust to a satisfactory degree. The results are compared to those obtained by the safety index approach without integrating the analysis and design processes. The new methods substantially reduce the computational cost of optimization, which indicates that integrated analysis and design has the potential of removing a major obstacle, which is the excessive computational cost, in applying stochastic optimization to real life structural design.