A Caltech Library Service

Optimal design of building structures using genetic algorithms

Chan, Eduardo (1997) Optimal design of building structures using genetic algorithms. EERL Report, 97-06. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


A general framework for multi-criteria optimal design is presented which is well-suited for automated design of structural systems. A systematic computer-aided optimal design decision process is developed which allows the designer to rapidly evaluate and improve a proposed design by taking into account the major factors of interest related to different aspects such as design, construction, and operation. The proposed optimal design process requires the selection of the most promising choice of design parameters taken from a large design space, based on an evaluation using specified criteria. The design parameters specify a particular design, and so they relate to member sizes, structural configuration, etc. The evaluation of the design uses performance parameters which may include structural response parameters, risks due to uncertain loads and modeling errors, construction and operating costs, etc. Preference functions are used to implement the design criteria in a "soft" form. These preference functions give a measure of the degree of satisfaction of each design criterion. The overall evaluation measure for a design is built up from the individual measures for each criterion through a preference combination rule. The goal of the optimal design process is to obtain a design that has the highest overall evaluation measure - an optimization problem. Genetic algorithms are stochastic optimization methods that are based on evolutionary theory. They provide the exploration power necessary to explore high-dimensional search spaces to seek these optimal solutions. Two special genetic algorithms, hGA and vGA, are presented here for continuous and discrete optimization problems, respectively. The methodology is demonstrated with several examples involving the design of truss and frame systems. These examples are solved by using the proposed hGA and vGA.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemAlso published as author's PhD thesis
Additional Information:PhD, 1997
Group:Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory
Series Name:EERL Report
Issue or Number:97-06
Record Number:CaltechEERL:1997.EERL-97-06
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:26403
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechEERL
Deposited On:15 Nov 2001
Last Modified:13 Aug 2021 21:21

Repository Staff Only: item control page