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From the design experiences of arch dams in the past, it has significant practical value to carry out the shape optimization of arch dams, which can fully make use of material characteristics and reduce the cost of constructions. Suitable variables need to be chosen to formulate the objective function, e.g. to minimize the total volume of the arch dam. Additionally a series of constraints are derived and a reasonable and convenient penalty function has been formed, which can easily enforce the characteristics of constraints and optimal design. For the optimization method, a Genetic Algorithm is adopted to perform a global search. Simultaneously, ANSYS is used to do the mechanical analysis under the coupling of thermal and hydraulic loads. One of the constraints of the newly designed dam is to fulfill requirements on the structural safety. Therefore, a reliability analysis is applied to offer a good decision supporting for matters concerning predictions of both safety and service life of the arch dam. By this, the key factors which would influence the stability and safety of arch dam significantly can be acquired, and supply a good way to take preventive measures to prolong ate the service life of an arch dam and enhances the safety of structure.

In the field of engineering, surrogate models are commonly used for approximating the behavior of a physical phenomenon in order to reduce the computational costs. Generally, a surrogate model is created based on a set of training data, where a typical method for the statistical design is the Latin hypercube sampling (LHS). Even though a space filling distribution of the training data is reached, the sampling process takes no information on the underlying behavior of the physical phenomenon into account and new data cannot be sampled in the same distribution if the approximation quality is not sufficient. Therefore, in this study we present a novel adaptive sampling method based on a specific surrogate model, the least-squares support vector regresson. The adaptive sampling method generates training data based on the uncertainty in local prognosis capabilities of the surrogate model - areas of higher uncertainty require more sample data. The approach offers a cost efficient calculation due to the properties of the least-squares support vector regression. The opportunities of the adaptive sampling method are proven in comparison with the LHS on different analytical examples. Furthermore, the adaptive sampling method is applied to the calculation of global sensitivity values according to Sobol, where it shows faster convergence than the LHS method. With the applications in this paper it is shown that the presented adaptive sampling method improves the estimation of global sensitivity values, hence reducing the overall computational costs visibly.

This study contributes to the identification of coupled THM constitutive model parameters via back analysis against information-rich experiments. A sampling based back analysis approach is proposed comprising both the model parameter identification and the assessment of the reliability of identified model parameters. The results obtained in the context of buffer elements indicate that sensitive parameter estimates generally obey the normal distribution. According to the sensitivity of the parameters and the probability distribution of the samples we can provide confidence intervals for the estimated parameters and thus allow a qualitative estimation on the identified parameters which are in future work used as inputs for prognosis computations of buffer elements. These elements play e.g. an important role in the design of nuclear waste repositories.

Many structures in different engineering applications suffer from cracking. In order to make reliable prognosis about the serviceability of those structures it is of utmost importance to identify cracks as precisely as possible by non-destructive testing. A novel approach (XIGA), which combines the Isogeometric Analysis (IGA) and the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) is used for the forward problem, namely the analysis of a cracked material, see [1]. Applying the NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) based approach from IGA together with the XFEM allows to describe effectively arbitrarily shaped cracks and avoids the necessity of remeshing during the crack identification problem. We want to exploit these advantages for the inverse problem of detecting existing cracks by non-destructive testing, see e.g. [2]. The quality of the reconstructed cracks however depends on two major issues, namely the quality of the measured data (measurement error) and the discretization of the crack model. The first one will be taken into account by applying regularizing methods with a posteriori stopping criteria. The second one is critical in the sense that too few degrees of freedom, i.e. the number of control points of the NURBS, do not allow for a precise description of the crack. An increased number of control points, however, increases the number of unknowns in the inverse analysis and intensifies the ill-posedness. The trade-off between accuracy and stability is aimed to be found by applying an inverse multilevel algorithm [3, 4] where the identification is started with short knot vectors which successively will be enlarged during the identification process.

We propose an enhanced iterative scheme for the precise reconstruction of piezoelectric material parameters from electric impedance and mechanical displacement measurements. It is based on finite-element simulations of the full three-dimensional piezoelectric equations, combined with an inexact Newton or nonlinear Landweber iterative inversion scheme. We apply our method to two piezoelectric materials and test its performance. For the first material, the manufacturer provides a full data set; for the second one, no material data set is available. For both cases, our inverse scheme, using electric impedance measurements as input data, performs well.

In this paper we present an inverse method which is capable of identifying system components in a hydro-mechanically coupled system, i.e. for fluid flow in porous media. As an example we regard water dams that were constructed more than hundred years ago but which are still in use. Over the time ageing processes have changed the condition of these dams. Within the dams fissures might have grown. The proposed method is designed to locate these fissures out of combined mechanical and hydraulic measurements. In a numerical example the fissures or damaged zones are described by a smeared crack model. The task is now to identify simultaneously the spatial distribution of Young’s modulus and the hydraulic permeability due to the fact, that in regions where damages are present, the mechanical stiffness of the system is reduced and the permeability increased. The inversion is shown to be an ill-posed problem. As a consequence regularizing methods have to be applied, where the nonlinear Landweber method (a gradient type method combined with a discrepancy principle) has proven to be an efficient choice.

A topology optimization method has been developed for structures subjected to multiple load cases (Example of a bridge pier subjected to wind loads, traffic, superstructure...). We formulate the problem as a multi-criterial optimization problem, where the compliance is computed for each load case. Then, the Epsilon constraint method (method proposed by Chankong and Haimes, 1971) is adapted. The strategy of this method is based on the concept of minimizing the maximum compliance resulting from the critical load case while the other remaining compliances are considered in the constraints. In each iteration, the compliances of all load cases are computed and only the maximum one is minimized. The topology optimization process is switching from one load to another according to the variation of the resulting compliance. In this work we will motivate and explain the proposed methodology and provide some numerical examples.

In construction engineering, a schedule’s input data, which is usually not exactly known in the planning phase, is considered deterministic when generating the schedule. As a result, construction schedules become unreliable and deadlines are often not met. While the optimization of construction schedules with respect to costs and makespan has been a matter of research in the past decades, the optimization of the robustness of construction schedules has received little attention. In this paper, the effects of uncertainties inherent to the input data of construction schedules are discussed. Possibilities are investigated to improve the reliability of construction schedules by considering alternative processes for certain tasks and by identifying the combination of processes generating the most robust schedule with respect to the makespan of a construction project.

The latest earthquakes have proven that several existing buildings, particularly in developing countries, are not secured from damages of earthquake. A variety of statistical and machine-learning approaches have been proposed to identify vulnerable buildings for the prioritization of retrofitting. The present work aims to investigate earthquake susceptibility through the combination of six building performance variables that can be used to obtain an optimal prediction of the damage state of reinforced concrete buildings using artificial neural network (ANN). In this regard, a multi-layer perceptron network is trained and optimized using a database of 484 damaged buildings from the Düzce earthquake in Turkey. The results demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the selected ANN approach to classify concrete structural damage that can be used as a preliminary assessment technique to identify vulnerable buildings in disaster risk-management programs.

The economic losses from earthquakes tend to hit the national economy considerably; therefore, models that are capable of estimating the vulnerability and losses of future earthquakes are highly consequential for emergency planners with the purpose of risk mitigation. This demands a mass prioritization filtering of structures to identify vulnerable buildings for retrofitting purposes. The application of advanced structural analysis on each building to study the earthquake response is impractical due to complex calculations, long computational time, and exorbitant cost. This exhibits the need for a fast, reliable, and rapid method, commonly known as Rapid Visual Screening (RVS). The method serves as a preliminary screening platform, using an optimum number of seismic parameters of the structure and predefined output damage states. In this study, the efficacy of the Machine Learning (ML) application in damage prediction through a Support Vector Machine (SVM) model as the damage classification technique has been investigated. The developed model was trained and examined based on damage data from the 1999 Düzce Earthquake in Turkey, where the building’s data consists of 22 performance modifiers that have been implemented with supervised machine learning.