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Rapid advancements of modern technologies put high demands on mathematical modelling of engineering systems. Typically, systems are no longer “simple” objects, but rather coupled systems involving multiphysics phenomena, the modelling of which involves coupling of models that describe different phenomena. After constructing a mathematical model, it is essential to analyse the correctness of the coupled models and to detect modelling errors compromising the final modelling result. Broadly, there are two classes of modelling errors: (a) errors related to abstract modelling, eg, conceptual errors concerning the coherence of a model as a whole and (b) errors related to concrete modelling or instance modelling, eg, questions of approximation quality and implementation. Instance modelling errors, on the one hand, are relatively well understood. Abstract modelling errors, on the other, are not appropriately addressed by modern modelling methodologies. The aim of this paper is to initiate a discussion on abstract approaches and their usability for mathematical modelling of engineering systems with the goal of making it possible to catch conceptual modelling errors early and automatically by computer assistant tools. To that end, we argue that it is necessary to identify and employ suitable mathematical abstractions to capture an accurate conceptual description of the process of modelling engineering systems.

One of the most promising and recent advances in computer-based planning is the transition from classical geometric modeling to building information modeling (BIM). Building information models support the representation, storage, and exchange of various information relevant to construction planning. This information can be used for describing, e.g., geometric/physical properties or costs of a building, for creating construction schedules, or for representing other characteristics of construction projects. Based on this information, plans and specifications as well as reports and presentations of a planned building can be created automatically. A fundamental principle of BIM is object parameterization, which allows specifying geometrical, numerical, algebraic and associative dependencies between objects contained in a building information model. In this paper, existing challenges of parametric modeling using the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) as a federated model for integrated planning are shown, and open research questions are discussed.

IFC-BASED MONITORING INFORMATION MODELING FOR DATA MANAGEMENT IN STRUCTURAL HEALTH MONITORING
(2015)

This conceptual paper discusses opportunities and challenges towards the digital representation of structural health monitoring systems using the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) standard. State-of-the-art sensor nodes, collecting structural and environmental data from civil infrastructure systems, are capable of processing and analyzing the data sets directly on-board the nodes. Structural health monitoring (SHM) based on sensor nodes that possess so called “on-chip intelligence” is, in this study, referred to as “intelligent SHM”, and the infrastructure system being equipped with an intelligent SHM system is referred to as “intelligent infrastructure”. Although intelligent SHM will continue to grow, it is not possible, on a well-defined formalism, to digitally represent information about sensors, about the overall SHM system, and about the monitoring strategies being implemented (“monitoring-related information”). Based on a review of available SHM regulations and guidelines as well as existing sensor models and sensor modeling languages, this conceptual paper investigates how to digitally represent monitoring-related information in a semantic model. With the Industry Foundation Classes, there exists an open standard for the digital representation of building information; however, it is not possible to represent monitoring-related information using the IFC object model. This paper proposes a conceptual approach for extending the current IFC object model in order to include monitoring-related information. Taking civil infrastructure systems as an illustrative example, it becomes possible to adequately represent, process, and exchange monitoring-related information throughout the whole life cycle of civil infrastructure systems, which is referred to as monitoring information modeling (MIM). However, since this paper is conceptual, additional research efforts are required to further investigate, implement, and validate the proposed concepts and methods.

Performing parameter identification prior to numerical simulation is an essential task in geotechnical engineering. However, it has to be kept in mind that the accuracy of the obtained parameter is closely related to the chosen experimental setup, such as the number of sensors as well as their location. A well considered position of sensors can increase the quality of the measurement and to reduce the number of monitoring points. This Paper illustrates this concept by means of a loading device that is used to identify the stiffness and permeability of soft clays. With an initial setup of the measurement devices the pore water pressure and the vertical displacements are recorded and used to identify the afore mentioned parameters. Starting from these identified parameters, the optimal measurement setup is investigated with a method based on global sensitivity analysis. This method shows an optimal sensor location assuming three sensors for each measured quantity, and the results are discussed.

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 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 theory of regular quaternionic functions of a reduced quaternionic variable is a 3-dimensional generalization of complex analysis. The Moisil-Theodorescu system (MTS) is a regularity condition for such functions depending on the radius vector r = ix+jy+kz seen as a reduced quaternionic variable. The analogues of the main theorems of complex analysis for the MTS in quaternion forms are established: Cauchy, Cauchy integral formula, Taylor and Laurent series, approximation theorems and Cauchy type integral properties. The analogues of positive powers (inner spherical monogenics) are investigated: the set of recurrence formulas between the inner spherical monogenics and the explicit formulas are established. Some applications of the regular function in the elasticity theory and hydrodynamics are given.

Portugal is one of the European countries with higher spatial and population freeway network coverage. The sharp growth of this network in the last years instigates the use of methods of analysis and the evaluation of their quality of service in terms of the traffic performance, typically performed through internationally accepted methodologies, namely that presented in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM). Lately, the use of microscopic traffic simulation models has been increasingly widespread. These models simulate the individual movement of the vehicles, allowing to perform traffic analysis. The main target of this study was to verify the possibility of using microsimulation as an auxiliary tool in the adaptation of the methodology by HCM 2000 to Portugal. For this purpose, were used the microscopic simulators AIMSUN and VISSIM for the simulation of the traffic circulation in the A5 Portuguese freeway. The results allowed the analysis of the influence of the main geometric and traffic factors involved in the methodology by HCM 2000. In conclusion, the study presents the main advantages and limitations of the microsimulators AIMSUN and VISSIM in modelling the traffic circulation in Portuguese freeways. The main limitation is that these microsimulators are not able to simulate explicitly some of the factors considered in the HCM 2000 methodology, which invalidates their direct use as a tool in the quantification of those effects and, consequently, makes the direct adaptation of this methodology to Portugal impracticable.

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.

Sensor faults can affect the dependability and the accuracy of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems. Recent studies demonstrate that artificial neural networks can be used to detect sensor faults. In this paper, decentralized artificial neural networks (ANNs) are applied for autonomous sensor fault detection. On each sensor node of a wireless SHM system, an ANN is implemented to measure and to process structural response data. Structural response data is predicted by each sensor node based on correlations between adjacent sensor nodes and on redundancies inherent in the SHM system. Evaluating the deviations (or residuals) between measured and predicted data, sensor faults are autonomously detected by the wireless sensor nodes in a fully decentralized manner. A prototype SHM system implemented in this study, which is capable of decentralized autonomous sensor fault detection, is validated in laboratory experiments through simulated sensor faults. Several topologies and modes of operation of the embedded ANNs are investigated with respect to the dependability and the accuracy of the fault detection approach. In conclusion, the prototype SHM system is able to accurately detect sensor faults, demonstrating that neural networks, processing decentralized structural response data, facilitate autonomous fault detection, thus increasing the dependability and the accuracy of structural health monitoring systems.

In this paper, we present an empirical approach for objective and quantitative benchmarking of optimization algorithms with respect to characteristics induced by the forward calculation. Due to the professional background of the authors, this benchmarking strategy is illustrated on a selection of search methods in regard to expected characteristics of geotechnical parameter back calculation problems. Starting from brief introduction into the approach employed, a strategy for optimization algorithm benchmarking is introduced. The benchmarking utilizes statistical tests carried out on well-known test functions superposed with perturbations, both chosen to mimic objective function topologies found for geotechnical objective function topologies. Here, the moved axis parallel hyper-ellipsoid test function and the generalized Ackley test function in conjunction with an adjustable quantity of objective function topology roughness and fraction of failing forward calculations is analyzed. In total, results for 5 optimization algorithms are presented, compared and discussed.

VARIATIONAL POSITING AND SOLUTION OF COUPLED THERMOMECHANICAL PROBLEMS IN A REFERENCE CONFIGURATION
(2015)

Variational formulation of a coupled thermomechanical problem of anisotropic solids for the case of non-isothermal finite deformations in a reference configuration is shown. The formulation of the problem includes: a condition of equilibrium flow of a deformation process in the reference configuration; an equation of a coupled heat conductivity in a variational form, in which an influence of deformation characteristics of a process on the temperature field is taken into account; tensor-linear constitutive relations for a hypoelastic material; kinematic and evolutional relations; initial and boundary conditions. Based on this formulation several axisymmetric isothermal and coupled problems of finite deformations of isotropic and anisotropic bodies are solved. The solution of coupled thermomechanical problems for a hollow cylinder in case of finite deformation showed an essential influence of coupling on distribution of temperature, stresses and strains. The obtained solutions show the development of stressstrain state and temperature changing in axisymmetric bodies in the case of finite deformations.

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.

Polymer modification of mortar and concrete is a widely used technique in order to improve their durability properties. Hitherto, the main application fields of such materials are repair and restoration of buildings. However, due to the constant increment of service life requirements and the cost efficiency, polymer modified concrete (PCC) is also used for construction purposes. Therefore, there is a demand for studying the mechanical properties of PCC and entitative differences compared to conventional concrete (CC). It is significant to investigate whether all the assumed hypotheses and existing analytical formulations about CC are also valid for PCC. In the present study, analytical models available in the literature are evaluated. These models are used for estimating mechanical properties of concrete. The investigated property in this study is the modulus of elasticity, which is estimated with respect to the value of compressive strength. One existing database was extended and adapted for polymer-modified concrete mixtures along with their experimentally measured mechanical properties. Based on the indexed data a comparison between model predictions and experiments was conducted by calculation of forecast errors.

In order to minimize the probability of foundation failure resulting from cyclic action on structures, researchers have developed various constitutive models to simulate the foundation response and soil interaction as a result of these complex cyclic loads. The efficiency and effectiveness of these model is majorly influenced by the cyclic constitutive parameters. Although a lot of research is being carried out on these relatively new models, little or no details exist in literature about the model based identification of the cyclic constitutive parameters. This could be attributed to the difficulties and complexities of the inverse modeling of such complex phenomena. A variety of optimization strategies are available for the solution of the sum of least-squares problems as usually done in the field of model calibration. However for the back analysis (calibration) of the soil response to oscillatory load functions, this paper gives insight into the model calibration challenges and also puts forward a method for the inverse modeling of cyclic loaded foundation response such that high quality solutions are obtained with minimum computational effort. Therefore model responses are produced which adequately describes what would otherwise be experienced in the laboratory or field.

What is nowadays called (classic) Clifford analysis consists in the establishment of a function theory for functions belonging to the kernel of the Dirac operator. While such functions can very well describe problems of a particle with internal SU(2)-symmetries, higher order symmetries are beyond this theory. Although many modifications (such as Yang-Mills theory) were suggested over the years they could not address the principal problem, the need of a n-fold factorization of the d’Alembert operator. In this paper we present the basic tools of a fractional function theory in higher dimensions, for the transport operator (alpha = 1/2 ), by means of a fractional correspondence to the Weyl relations via fractional Riemann-Liouville derivatives. A Fischer decomposition, fractional Euler and Gamma operators, monogenic projection, and basic fractional homogeneous powers are constructed.

Recently there has been a surge of interest in PDEs involving fractional derivatives in different fields of engineering. In this extended abstract we present some of the results developedin [3]. We compute the fundamental solution for the three-parameter fractional Laplace operator Δ by transforming the eigenfunction equation into an integral equation and applying the method of separation of variables. The obtained solutions are expressed in terms of Mittag-Leffer functions. For more details we refer the interested reader to [3] where it is also presented an operational approach based on the two Laplace transform.

This article presents the Rigid Finite Element Method in the calculation of reinforced concrete beam deflection with cracks. Initially, this method was used in the shipbuilding industry. Later, it was adapted in the homogeneous calculations of the bar structures. In this method, rigid mass discs serve as an element model. In the flat layout, three generalized coordinates (two translational and one rotational) correspond to each disc. These discs are connected by elastic ties. The genuine idea is to take into account a discrete crack in the Rigid Finite Element Method. It consists in the suitable reduction of the rigidity in rotational ties located in the spots, where cracks occurred. The susceptibility of this tie results from the flexural deformability of the element and the occurrence of the crack. As part of the numerical analyses, the influence of cracks on the total deflection of beams was determined. Furthermore, the results of the calculations were compared to the results of the experiment. Overestimations of the calculated deflections against the measured deflections were found. The article specifies the size of the overestimation and describes its causes.

The paper introduces a systematic construction management approach, supporting expansion of a specified construction process, both automatically and semi-automatically. Throughout the whole design process, many requirements must be taken into account in order to fulfil demands defined by clients. In implementing those demands into a design concept up to the execution plan, constraints such as site conditions, building code, and legal framework are to be considered. However, complete information, which is needed to make a sound decision, is not yet acquired in the early phase. Decisions are traditionally taken based on experience and assumptions. Due to a vast number of appropriate available solutions, particularly in building projects, it is necessary to make those decisions traceable. This is important in order to be able to reconstruct considerations and assumptions taken, should there be any changes in the future project’s objectives. The research will be carried out by means of building information modelling, where rules deriving from standard logics of construction management knowledge will be applied. The knowledge comprises a comprehensive interaction amongst bidding process, cost-estimation, construction site preparation as well as specific project logistics – which are usually still separately considered. By means of these rules, favourable decision taking regarding prefabrication and in-situ implementation can be justified. Modifications depending on the available information within current design stage will consistently be traceable.