During the past 45 years a significant amount of research has been published in the area of structural optimization. The great majority of these papers deal with the minimization of the weight of the structure. While weight of a structure constitutes a significant part of the cost, a minimum weight design is not necessarily the minimum cost design. Only a small fraction of the papers published on structural optimization deal with the cost optimization problem.
Most of these papers deal with structural elements such as beams. Few journal papers have been published on cost optimization of realistic three-dimensional structures. As such, there is a need to perform research on cost optimization of realistic three-dimensional structures, especially large structures with hundreds of members where optimization can result in substantial savings. The results of such research efforts will be of great value to practicing engineers. Another important reason for advocating and advancing the use of optimization technology in the design of structures is automating the complicated process of structural design.
In the ground-breaking book by H. Adeli and H. S. Park, Neurocomputing for Design Automation, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 1998, a patented model was presented for fully automated design of very large structures and used for the fully automated design of a 144-story superhigh-rise steel modified tube-in-tube structure with over 20 000 members subjected to the actual constraints of commonly used design code, the American Institute of Steel Construction Allowable Stress Design (ASD) and Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) codes.
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Today, even the most advanced commercial design software systems do not provide a fully automated system. Fully automated structural design and cost optimization are where the large-scale design technology should be heading. As the first book on cost optimization of structures we hope that this book will guide the profession in that direction.
Parts of the work presented in this book were published by the authors in a number of journal articles in Journal of Structural Engineering, and Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction (American Society of Civil Engineers), Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering (Blackwell Publishers), International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd), and International Journal of Space Structures (Multi-Science Publishing Company) as noted in the list of references and acknowledged in various chapters. Chapter 2 is based on two journal articles by the senior author and his graduate student N.T. Cheng, and Chapter 3 is based on two journal articles by the senior author and his graduate student and research associate Dr H. Kim and are reproduced by permission of the publishers of these journals as noted in the footnotes to these chapters. The junior author expresses his sincere gratitude and appreciation to Mr James E. Prevost of Barr & Prevost for his support and understanding in completing this work.