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In the context of finite element model updating using output-only vibration test data, natural frequencies and mode shapes are used as validation criteria. Consequently, the correct pairing of experimentally obtained and numerically derived natural frequencies and mode shapes is important. In many cases, only limited spatial information is available and noise is present in the measurements. Therefore, the automatic selection of the most likely numerical mode shape corresponding to a particular experimentally identified mode shape can be a difficult task. The most common criterion for indicating corresponding mode shapes is the modal assurance criterion. Unfortunately, this criterion fails in certain cases and is not reliable for automatic approaches. In this paper, the purely mathematical modal assurance criterion will be enhanced by additional physical information from the numerical model in terms of modal strain energies. A numerical example and a benchmark study with experimental data are presented to show the advantages of the proposed energy-based criterion in comparison to the traditional modal assurance criterion.

The Element-free Galerkin Method has become a very popular tool for the simulation of mechanical problems with moving boundaries. The internally applied Moving Least Squares approximation uses in general Gaussian or cubic weighting functions and has compact support. Due to the approximative character of this method the obtained shape functions do not fulfill the interpolation condition, which causes additional numerical effort for the imposition of the essential boundary conditions. The application of a singular weighting function, which leads to singular coefficient matrices at the nodes, can solve this problem, but requires a very careful placement of the integration points. Special procedures for the handling of such singular matrices were proposed in literature, which require additional numerical effort. In this paper a non-singular weighting function is presented, which leads to an exact fulfillment of the interpolation condition. This weighting function leads to regular values of the weights and the coefficient matrices in the whole interpolation domain even at the nodes. Furthermore this function gives much more stable results for varying size of the influence radius and for strongly distorted nodal arrangements than classical weighting function types. Nevertheless, for practical applications the results are similar as these obtained with the regularized weighting type presented by the authors in previous publications. Finally a new concept will be presented, which enables an efficient analysis of systems with strongly varying node density. In this concept the nodal influence domains are adapted depending on the nodal configuration by interpolating the influence radius for each direction from the distances to the natural neighbor nodes. This approach requires a Voronoi diagram of the domain, which is available in this study since Delaunay triangles are used as integration background cells. In the numerical examples it will be shown, that this method leads to a more uniform and reduced number of influencing nodes for systems with varying node density than the classical circular influence domains, which means that the small additional numerical effort for interpolating the influence radius leads to remarkable reduction of the total numerical cost in a linear analysis while obtaining similar results. For nonlinear calculations this advantage would be even more significant.

In engineering science the modeling and numerical analysis of complex systems and relations plays an important role. In order to realize such an investigation, for example a stochastic analysis, in a reasonable computational time, approximation procedure have been developed. A very famous approach is the response surface method, where the relation between input and output quantities is represented for example by global polynomials or local interpolation schemes as Moving Least Squares (MLS). In recent years artificial neural networks (ANN) have been applied as well for such purposes. Recently an adaptive response surface approach for reliability analyses was proposed, which is very efficient concerning the number of expensive limit state function evaluations. Due to the applied simplex interpolation the procedure is limited to small dimensions. In this paper this approach is extended for larger dimensions using combined ANN and MLS response surfaces for evaluating the adaptation criterion with only one set of joined limit state points. As adaptation criterion a combination by using the maximum difference in the conditional probabilities of failure and the maximum difference in the approximated radii is applied. Compared to response surfaces on directional samples or to plain directional sampling the failure probability can be estimated with a much smaller number of limit state points.

In the context of finite element model updating using vibration test data, natural frequencies and mode shapes are used as validation criteria. Consequently, the order of natural frequencies and mode shapes is important. As only limited spatial information is available and noise is present in the measurements, the automatic selection of the most likely numerical mode shape corresponding to a measured mode shape is a difficult task. The most common criterion to indicate corresponding mode shapes is the modal assurance criterion. Unfortunately, this criterion fails in certain cases. In this paper, the pure mathematical modal assurance criterion will be enhanced by additional physical information of the numerical model in terms of modal strain energies. A numerical example and a benchmark study with real measured data are presented to show the advantages of the enhanced energy based criterion in comparison to the traditional modal assurance criterion.