The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 82 (2004) > Issues > Issue 13 > Structural design optimisation by evolution
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Structural design optimisation by evolution

Design is naturally an evolutionary process. Every structural design has evolved from the designer’s experience and continual search for improvement in structural type, materials, connections, shapes and all the many aspects of design. It is reasonable to ask whether this process can be formalised so that general rules can be stated. How can we quantify ‘improvement’? Since design is largely conducted on computers, perhaps we should look there for assistance? Are we fully exploiting the capability of the computer? Here we take a look at ‘evolution’, strictly in the computing context, to see whether there is anything in it for structural design. This will be a narrowly directed search on the understanding that anything we find might then be expanded and developed. We look at a simple ‘objective function’ and explore means of achieving this by computation. Prof. W. M. Jenkins, BSc, PhD, DTech, CEng, FIStructE, FICE Professor Emeritus, School of Engineering, University of Hertfordshire

Author(s): Jenkins, W M

Keywords: design;structures;algorithms;computers