Engineering Optimization
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To cite this article: A. K. DHINGRA & W. A. BENNAGE (1995) TOPOLOGICAL OPTIMIZATION OF TRUSS STRUCTURES USING
SIMULATED ANNEALING, Engineering Optimization, 24:4, 239259, DOI: 10.1080/03052159508941192
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A design procedure for integrating topological decision making in the framework of structural optimization
is presented. The proposed approach facilitates (i) generation and evaluation of alternate structural
topologies, and (ii) development of detailed designs for promising concepts. In contrast with the ground
structure approach, he proposed method allows for 3n introduction ofnew members in an existing topology.
This is done using 0 I variables to represent topological decisions involving a choice between allernative
designs. Since the topological variables are discrete in nature and the member crosssections are assumed to
be continuous, the topological optimization problem has mixed discretecontinuous variables. This problem
is solved usinga simulated annealingapproach wherein the search for an optimum topology is simulated as
a relaxation of the stochastic structural system. A probabilistic acceptance criterion is used to accept/reject
candidate designs. Numerical results obtained using simulated annealing for single and multiobjective
topological optimization of truss structures are presented. For multiobjcctive problems, a cooperative game
theoretic approach is used to model the multiple objective functions in the problem formulation.
INTRODUCTION
ously developed by Maxwell. This classic work provides a theoretical lower bound,
under a single loadingcondition,on the weight of trusslikecontinua subjected to stress
constraints. However, Michell's structures are impractical because these designs
frequently require an infinite number of bars and joints. Further, no systematic
procedure exists to construct a Michell's structure for an arbitrary set of loads. Recent
analytical treatment of the layout optimization problem is based on optimality
criteriai0 and homogenization method^'^^^^. The current applications of the hom
ogenization method are restricted to problems in which structural compliance is to be
minimized and buckling constraints are neglected. A comprehensive survey on analyti
cal approaches to the layout optimization for continuous structural systems is given in
Kirsch'.
T o overcome the impracticalities of Michell structures, most topology optimization
studies for discrete structures are based on the nowclassic groundstructure approach
first proposed by Dorn et d l 3 and effectively used till today14. In this approach,
a rectangular grid of nodal points is established each of which represents a possible
joint for truss members. A groundstructure is defined by connecting truss members
between all possible nodes. If n is the number of possible nodal points, the ground
structure contains n(n  1)/2 members and is n(n  1)/2 + 3  2n = ( n  3)(n  2)/2
degrees indeterminate. Assuming the member forces as design variables, a minimiz
ation of structural weight results in a linear programming (LP) problem. The design
constraints for this L P problem include the equations of equilibrium at all joints of the
structure. For a single set of loads, the optimum design is statically determine and can
also be viewed as an optimum plastic design. However, this fully stressed design does
not permit a rational consideration of displacement and/or bucklingconstraintsduring
the optimization process.
For the more general case of multiple loading conditions, the minimum weight
structure need neither be statically determinate nor fully stressed15. T o solve such
structural design problems, Dobbs and Felton16 proposed a nonlinear programming
(NLP) formulation for modifying member crosssectional areas. Aftera certain number
of design cycles, members whose crosssections are close to zero are deleted from the
structure, and the remaining member areas are modified until an optimum solution is
obtained. The deleted members cannot recenter the design, and there is no evidence
suggesting that an inclusion of these members at some later stage would not reduce the
weight. In addition, the proposed formulation is only applicable to problems in which
TOPOLOGICAL OPTIMIZATION 24 1
buckling constraints are not present. If buckling constraints are imposed, they are
considered only after the optimal topology has been obtained.
Sheu and Schmitl' used a branch and bound technique to cast the Dobbs
and Felton's formulation into a more general form. A lower bound on the minimum
for a candidate topology is first established by solving a L P problem with com
patibility and displacement constraints being neglected. N L P is then used to
optimize most promising configurations. Although the complete N L P problem is
only solved for promising topologies, the method involves significant computational
effort.
T o avoid the problem of a disjoint feasiblespace illustrated by Sved and Ginos" and
permit the inclusion of compatibility requirements in the design process, an iterative
procedure has been proposed by Farshi and Schmitlg. In this method, redundant
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member forces and crosssectional areas of all members are used as design variables.
However, in some cases, the proposed approach may not terminate at the true
optimum and the convergence  speed is dependent on the choice of redundants.
A twostage approach for optimizing stress and deflection limited tiusses subjected to
a single
 load condition has been developed by Ringertzzo. Both L P and N L P are used
to minimize the structural weight with respect to a given displacement field. However,
there is no proof suggesting that the topology obtained is optimum with respect to
other displacement fields. The effect of compatibility conditions on optimal topologies
of truss structures has been studied by Kirschz1.
Most topology optimization studies have focussed on a deletion of members from
the groundstructure to determine a n optimal topology. The deletion is either done
automatically by allowing member areas to reduce to zero or is done manually as
detailed in Ref. [16]. Little attention has been given to developing methods whereby
new membersare introduced in the structure to achievean optimal design. Spilled22.23
has presented heuristic schemes for assembling structures from smaller modules to
improve the overall design. Using a set of predefined rules, new designs are generated
by adding members to a given initial structure. Both linguistic and algebraic methods
were proposed to modify the structure connectivity. Another notable effort in this
direction is the work of Rosyid and C a l d ~ e l where l ~ ~ a Lamarckian approach to
topological optimization is pursued to determine a practical instead of a globally
optimum topology. However, as noted by Topping6 and Kirsch', rigorous algorithmic
methods for introducing new members in a given structure have received limited
attention.
This paper presents an optimization based framework which integrates topological
 .Drocess and is c a ~ a b l ofe
and m u l t i ~ l eobiectiveconsiderations in the structural design
(i) generating and evaluating alternative design topologies, and (ii) simultaneously
developing detailed optimum designs for promising concepts. The proposed approach
permits an integration of multiple loading conditions as well as buckling and displace
ment constraints in the problem formulation in an integrated manner. The resulting
nonlinear topological optimization problem has mixed discretecontinuous design
variables. A solution approach to this problem based on the MonteCarlo annealing
method is presented. The multiple objective functions are handled using a cooperative
game theoretic approach. Numerical results obtained using SA are compared with
those obtained using the groundstructure method.
242 A. K. DHINGRA AND W. A. BENNAGE
In the discussion which follows, the initial focus is on the selection of an optimum
topology t * ~ 9 Zwithout any reference to the problem domain under consideration.
Subsequently, the proposed approach will be specialized in a structural designlopti
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mization context.
An iterative descent algorithm for solving Eq. (1) consists of the following steps:
(i) Select an initial topology t ~ 9 Z .
(ii) Generate candidate topologies in the neighborhood of current topology and
select the best topology t i n the given neighborhood.
(iii) If F ( f ) > F(t), t is a locally optimum solution and the method terminates.
Otherwise let t = f and return to step (ii).
This seemingly reasonable search strategy has one drawback: i t is easily trapped a t a
local optimum. An approach commonly used to overcome this difficulty involves running
the descent algorithm several times from dimerent initial topologies, and retaining the
best local minimum as an estimate to the global minimum. However, for search spaces
with a large cardinality, the computational expense becomes prohibitive. This, in turn,
limits the number of random starts needed to adequately sample the objective function,
and one still does not have any guarantee that theglobally optimum topology has been
found. In simulated annealing (SA), a different approach which permits a limited
acceptance of configurations of increasing F is adopted to overcome the difficulty of
getting trapped in a local minimum. This is in contrast to descent algorithms where
only transitions resulting in a reduction in value of the objective function are accepted.
SA is a search procedure based on the MonteCarlo method used in the statistical
mechanics of condensed systems. The recent interest in its use as a multivariable
optimization technique began with the work of Kirkpatrick et ~ 1 who . showed
~ ~ the
analogy between simulating the annealing of solids, and solving combinatorial opti
mization problems. The essential ingredients of the annealing algorithm are as follows.
At each iteration, the current solution is given a small randomly generated perturba
tion, and the resultingchange in energy (objective) function A E is calculated. If A E < 0,
the resulting change is accepted, but if AE>O, the new state is accepted with
a probability of exp( AEIK,T) where K, is Boltzman's constant, and T is the
current temperature. If a sufficiently large number of configurations are generated at
each temperature (T), the system attains thermal equilibrium. Consequently, the
probability that the system is in state i at temperature T is given as
TOPOLOGICAL OPTIMIZATION 243
where Eiis the energy of state i, and Z ( T ) is a normalization factor. As T+O, only
minimum energy states have a nonzero probability of occurrence.
The SA algorithm for solving Eq. (1) begins with an initial topology i, usually chosen
at random or, when possible, a heuristically constructed configuration. A candidate
topology j is then generated by choosing a configuration a t random, in the neighbor
hood 'ni of i. The neighborhood set for solution ;€% is the set sic % of solutions that
are close to i in some metric, i.e. N(i,6,) = si= [ j l j ~ % li
, jl < Si]. The generation
probability Gij of generating configuration j from configuration i is assumed uniformly
distributed over the neighborhood 9Zi as
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where x(.) denotes the characteristic function of a set. Let H and H' be two sets with
H' c H . Then the characteristic function of set H', ,y,,.,:Ht [0, I], is defined as
,y(".,(h) = 1 if h e H ' and ,y(",,(h) = 0, otherwise. The acceptance probability Aij of
accepting configuration j once it has been generated from configurat'ion i is given as
Here 6 Fij = F (j)  F(i), T, denotes the current temperature and 6 F i s a normalization
constant analogous to the Boltzman constant K , in Eq. (2). The normalization
constant 6 F used herein is the running average of 6 Fir The value of 6 is updated
every time a design with 6 Fij>O is probabilistically accepted. This acceptance
function, which models the Boltzman distribution (Eq. (2)), implies that: (i) small uphill
excursions are more likely to be accepted than large ones, (ii) when T is large, most
uphill moves are accepted, and (iii) as T approaches zero, most uphill moves will be
rejected.
With thegeneration and acceptanceprobabilitiesgiven by Eqs. (3)and (4) respective
ly, the transition probability Pij(k  1, k) which denotes that the outcome of the kth
trial is a transition from topology i to topology j is defined as
During the annealing process, each Markov chain ofcandidate topologies is generated
at a fixed value of T,, with T, being reduced between subsequent chains. Essential to the
convergence of the SA algorithm is the existence of a unique stationary distribution for
a Markov chain. The following conditions ensure the existence of such stationary
distributions.
244 A. K. DHINGRA A N D W. A. B E N N A G E
Theorem I (Fellerz6): Let P be the transition matrix associated with a finite homo
geneous Markov chain which is irreducible and aperiodic. Then there exists a stochas
tic vector; whose components y, are uniquely determined by
Here; is the stationary distribution ofthe Markov chain, i.e. the probability distribu
tion after an infinite number of trials. The homogeneous Markov chain with G(T,) and
A ( T , ) given by Eqs. (34) are sufficient to insure irreducibility and aperiodicity of the
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The similarity between Eq. (8)and Eq. (2) is evident. The normalization factor Z (T) in
Eq. (2) corresponds to the denominator term in Eq. (8). As T0, 7 converges to
a uniform distribution on the set of globally optimum configurations, i.e.
lim qi(T)= n, where (9)
7' 0
n
'
= (
lpl' i@JCp,
0 otherwise
and !lZ,, is the set ofglobally optimal solutions. If X(k) is a stochastic variable denoting
the outcome of the kth trial, then
lim(lim Pr[X(k) = i]) = lim q,(T) = s,or (1 1)
7'0 km T0
Iirn(lim P~[X(~)ESZ,,,])= I
7'0 km
Eq. (12) reflects the basic property of the annealing algorithm, i.e. the method asym
ptotically converges to an optimum solution.
representing topological connectivity and detailed design for each candidate topology
is varied until no further improvement in the objective function is possible.
The nonlinear, mixed discretecontinuous variable topological optimization is given
as
min F (t, X*) =f(t, X*) (13)
1
r~ T= [t l t ~ 2t is
~ feasible]
, (16)
This optimization problem has two loops. The outerloop (Eqs. (13) and (16))deals with
the determination of an optimum topology whereas the innerloop (Eqs. (14) and (15))
minimizes the objective function f(X) for each candidate topology. T o insure the
feasibility of topologies generated by the discrete N L P algorithm, certain checks must
be incorporated in the analysisoptimization procedure. These include:
i. Structural members must be present at nodes a t which external forces are
applied.
ii. The optimum topology should be feasible (statically determinate or indetermi
+
nate), i.e. m r 2 2 j where m is the number of members present in a topology,
r denotes the number of reaction forces, and j is the number ofjoints.
iii. The reduced stiffness matrix [K] of the optimum topology must be nonsingular.
For condition (iii), the singular value decomposition of [K] is used.
Theorem 2 (Golub and van Loanz8): If AER"'"", then there exists orthogonal matrices
U E R m x mand V E R " ~ "such that A = U Z VT where Z = diag(u,,. . .,up), u, 2 a, 2
...u p > 0, and p = min{m,n).
Here ui denote the singular values of matrix A, and A is said to be nonsingular if
up > 0.
Other restrictions which ensure the symmertry of the optimum topology about
specified planes can be imposed as necessary. The optimum combination of n(n  1)/2
discrete variables determines the optimum structural topology.
246 A. K. DHINGRA AND W. A. BENNAGE
For the inner loop, the optimization problem being solved is of the form
min f ( X ) (17)
such that X E S [ X I X E R " ' , ~ ~2( X01) (18)
Here y , ( X ) denote stress, deflection, and/or buckling constraints imposed on the
structure. T o solve this constrained optimization problem using SA, it is transformed
into an unconstrained problem as
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and R is the penalty coefficient. For constrained problems such as the one given above
(Eqs. (1718)), it has been seen that annealing implementations incorporating penalty
functions, in general, yield better solutions than implementations based on an auto
matic rejection of infeasible solutions29.
The inner and outerloop optimization problems discussed above are solved using
the simulated annealing algorithm. For both these problems, the control parameter
T is gradually reduced during the annealing process according to the specified cooling
schedule parameters. These include the starting acceptance probability (P,) for
6 F j j = 6 F,the final acceptance probability (P,) for 6 Fij = 6 F, and the number of
temperature reduction cycles (N). From these three values, the coolingschedule is
defined as follows. Given P,, the starting temperature T, is calculated as
where a is the cooling factor. As T0, for design transitions with 6 F . . > O ,
A i j  + OFinally,
. since P, denotes the final acceptance probability for 6 F i j = 6 ~ y a f t e r
N cycles,
T, = T,aN I , and (25)
TOPOLOGICAL OPTIMIZATION
COMPUTATIONAL PROCEDURE
In the topological optimization problem given by Eqs. (1316), members may be added
to or deleted from a structure during the design process. Consequently the finite
element model, and the set and number of design variables ( m ) and constraints (q)
change from one iteration to the next during the optimization process. This, in turn,
greatly complicates the design and analysis interactions. Despite these difficulties, it has
been recognized that an optimization of the topology can greatly improve the design.
That is, the potential savings affected by topology optimization are generally more
significant than those resulting from optimization of a fixed topology. The stepbystep
procedure outlined below details the mechanics of the proposed topological optimiz
ation procedure.
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(i) Establish a rectangular grid of nodal points in the allowable space, each of which
represents a possible joint for truss members. If n is the number of nodal points,
the topological vector (string) has M = n(n  1)/2 01 variables representing
topological connectivities between various nodes.
(ii) Given the values of P,, PJ and N, calculate the cooling schedule parameters T,, TI,
and a. Initialize the cycle counter k and the variable counter i v to zero.
(iii) Given the initial topology S, with member crosssectional area Xi, construct the
string representing nodal connectivity for topology S,
From the topological
. . string of S;, select randomly a variable k a ~ r 1 ,...,M I to be
altered subject to the restriction that each variable is altered once. Set i v = ; v + 1.
The variable ka is perturbed to generate a candidate topology S j in the
neighborhood of the current topology Si.
Decode the topological string to construct a finite element model of the
structure it represents. Check if the new topology Sj is feasible using the criteria .
discussed earlier. The mechanism for handling infeasible topologies is given at
the end of this procedure. The design variablesat this level are the crosssectional
areas of the members (Xj). The design constraints include limitations on stress
levels, buckling stresses and/or nodal displacements. It may be noted that the
number ofdesign variables and constraints may change from one iteration to the
next, for it depends on the number of members present in the candidate topology
For the candidate topology Sj, determine Xf which optimizes the objective
function f(Xj) and calculate 6 Fij= F(Sj, X f )  F (Si, X:).
If SF,, i0, accept the configuration Sj as the current design, i.e. set Si = Sj. If
iv > M go to step (x), else return to step (iv).
If 6 F i j > 0, update 6 F. Compute the acceptance probability A,,( T, ) using the
second half of Eq. (4). Generate a uniformly distributed random number rn over
the interval [0, I]. If rn < Aijgo to step(ix). If i v > M go to step (x), otherwisego to
step (iv).
Accept thecandidate design as the current design, i.e. set S, = ST If i v > M go to
step (x), else go to step (iv).
Update the temperature T, according to Eq. (24), set the cycle counter k = k 1. If +
k > N terminate, otherwise set i u = 0 and return to step (iv).
248 A. K. DHINGRA AND W. A. BENNAGE
In the topological optimization procedure given above, step (iv) deals with the
generation of candidate topologies Sj. If the candidate topology is infeasible, four
different strategies are used to accept/reject ST These strategies are as follows:
Strategy I : Infeasible topologies are automatically rejected.
Here A , and 1, denote the crosssectional area and length, respectively, of member i, and
m denotes the number of members prersent in the topology under consideration. The
TOPOLOGICAL OPTIMIZATION 249
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Figure I (a) Rectangular grid of nodal points (b) Member numbering convention (c) Minimum weight
topology using strategy I (d) Minimum weight topology using strategies IlIV.
where u i denotes the stress in member i, cr,,, is the allowable stress (a,,, = 25,000 psi), and
hi, and hi, denote the x and y components of deflection of node i.
The annealingbased topological optimization procedure is executed with the
following parameter values: N = 350, P, = 0.5, PJ = lo', R = 0.9 and Q = 60. The
optimum design vectors and the objective function values corresponding to the four
previously discussed strategies are given in Table 1. It may be noted that when
candidate topologies are optimized to determine optimum member crosssectional
areas. a second SA loop is needed. For the inner optimization loop since the design
variables are continuous, both SA and gradientbased optimization methods can be
used. A comparison between the results obtained using these two optimizers is also
given in Table 1 where the columns labelled "Gradient"correspond to results obtained
using M F D or SLP. The starting topology used for these runs are the optimum
topologies determined by the respective annealing strategies (Figures Icd).
Based on the results given in Table 1. it can be seen that (i) when the member areas A i
are optimized, either SA or MFD/SLP can be used, and (ii) annealing strategies 11IV
yield slightly better results than strategy I. For this example, if from the statically
250 A. K. DHINGRA AND W. A. BENNAGE
Elements 1.2,4.7.11,12,13,
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indeterminate topology given in Figure Ic members with areas a t lower bounds are
,removed, the resulting topology becomes identical to the statically determinaie
topologies obtained using strategies 111V. It may be noted that the topology given in
Figure Id is approximately 1921bs lighter than the designs given in Ringertz2' and
S c h n ~ i dThis
~ ~ .is due to the fact that the approach adopted in these works only permits
a deletion of members from the initial topology. Since a mechanism does not exist for
introducing new members in a given topology, there is a likelihood of missing better
designs altogether.
Herc w, denotes the fundamental frequency of vibration of the truss. For this example,
the constraints, material properties, and variables are the same as discussed in
Example 1. However,candidate topologies with overlapping members are not allowed,
i.e. member pairs (I, 2), (2,6), ( 1 3,14), and (14,15) are not permitted (Figure lb).
TOPOLOGlCAL OPTIMIZATION 25 1
The single objective optimization problems are solved first with parameter values:
N = 500, P, = 0 . 5 , =~ lo',
~ R = 0.9 and Q = 60. The optimum design vectors and the
objective function values corresponding to these minimizations are given in Table 2.
Table 2 also includes the results obtained using the groundstructure approach. It can
be seen that both the annealing and groundstructure based approaches yield identical
results. For this example,since candidate topologies with overlapping membersare not
allowed, the minimum weight topology shown in Figure 2a is 167 Ibs heavier than the
design obtained in Example 1. This statically determinate topology is identical to the
optimum solution given in RingertzZ0 and Schmid30. The statically indeterminate
topologies which maximizef,and minimizef, are given in Figure 2b and 2c respective
ly. It may be noted that when f3 is minimized, the groundstructure lacking members
2 and 14 (Figure Ib) with Ai = 40.0in2 has a larger deflection (f3 = 2.3053) than the
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A, 2 1.970
A2 21.193
A3 14.988
A4 6.0543
A5 21.171
4 29.976
A,
Elements 1.4.6.7,
present 11.13
Figure 2 Optimum topologies obtained using SA (a) Minimum weight topology (b) Maximum frequency
topology (c) Minimum deflection topology (d) Multiobjective optimum topology.
where X; denotes the optimum solution of the jth objective function when solved as
a single objective optimization problem. The bargaining function B(X) which helps to
determine a compromise solution amongst the kobjective functions is defined as"
B(X) = n LL  S ~ ( X ) I ~ ' ~
k
i=1
(36)
where rvi are the relative degrees of importance associated with the objective functions.
Thus the game theoretic formulation for a multiobjective problem yields
such that
XES* c S, where S* = [XJXES,(A, L(X)) > 01 (38)
and s denotes the set of feasible solutions (Eq. (15)). A Paretooptimal design for this
multiobjective problem is given in Table 2 and the corresponding statically indetermi
nate topology is given in Figure 2d.
The results obtained using single and multiobjective optimization techniques are
intuitively appealing. For instance, a minimization of nodal deflections(f, )implies that
a stronger structure is needed. Therefore, the optimum structure has members with
large crosssectional areas which, in turn, results in a heavier design. A minimum
weight design, on the other hand, leads to large nodal displacements. The solution
obtained using the multiobjective formulation represents a compromise among the
three conflicting criteria.
TOPOLOGICAL OPTIMIZATION 253
(Q)
Here a,,, denotes the compressive yield stress, and I = ndt(dZ+ tZ)/8= nd3t/8. For
local buckling failure in the elastic range3',
The value of K varies between 0.4 and 0.8. Equating the buckling stresses correspond
ing to these independent modes of failure yields.
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where A = ndt. Thus, simultaneously to avoid both modes of buckling failure in each
member i, the optimum design must satisfy
In Eq. (47), the summation is carried over all free nodes in a candidate topology. The
design constraints include
configuration given in Figure 3b was used as the starting topology. The symmetry of
candidate topologies about the plane connecting nodes 3 and 13 is achieved by linking
both the topological variables and the member crosssectional areas on either side of
this plane. The optimum topologies corresponding to load cases LC1 and LC2 are
given in Figure 4 and 5 respectively. The objective function values are given in Table 3.
The member crosssectional areas corresponding to these topologies are given in
Bennage3=.
These three single objective optimization problems are also solved using the
groundstructure approach. For load cases LC1 and LC2 the optimum topologies
obtained using the groundstructure approach are given in Figure 6 and 7 respectively.
The objective function values for these topologies are given in Table 4. Based on the
results given in Tables 3 and 4, it can be seen that the optim& solutions obtained using
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Figure4 Optimum topologies obtained using SA. Load case 1 (LCI) (a) Minimum weight topo
logy (b) Maximum rrequency topology (c) Minimum deflection topology (d) Multiobjective optimum
topology.
A. K. D H I N G R A A N D W. A. B E N N A G E
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IC) (dl
Figure S Optimum topologies obtained using SA. Load case 2 (LC2) (a) Minimum weight topology (b)
Maximum frequency topology (c) Minimum deflection topology (d) Multiobjeclive optimum lopology.
J', (15s) 197.6; 158.0' 641.0 620.3 5126.3 4004.6 926.7 708.0
&(HZ\ 18.80 20.80 50.56' 52.29' 30.05 14.96 47.43 50.70
,fJW 6.203 5.440 4.784 2.344 0.729' 0.597. 2.253 1.382
I r 2 0 0 8 7 21 I2 7 2
CONCLUSIONS
Figure6 Optimum topologies obtained using the groundstructure approach. Load case I (LCI) (a)
Minimum weight topology (b) Maximum frequency topology (c) Minimum deflection topology (d) Multiob
jective optimum topology.
Figure7 Optimum topologics obtained using the groundstructure approach. Load case 2 (LCZ) (a)
Minimum weight topology (b) Maximum frequency topology ( c )Minimum deflection topology (d) Multiob
jective optimum topology.
258 A. K. DHINGRA AND W. A. BENNAGE

alternativestructural topolosies.(ii)
.. . an evaluation of the feasibilitvand relative merit of
various topologies, and (iii) permits development of detailed designs for promising
. 
topolosies. .
The NLP based tooolosical optimization procedure allows for an inclusion
of multiple loading conditions, buckling and/or displacement constraints in the
problem formulation in rational fashion. Further, in contrast with the ground
structure method where uneconomical members are removed during the optimization
process, the proposed procedure allows for an introduction of new members in an
existing topology. The savings effected by the structural optimization p;ocedure
presented herein, which optimizes both the topology and the detailed design, are
expected to be more significant
 than those resulting from optimization of a fixed
topology. However, one difficulty with the proposed approach is that the geometry of
each trial topology is optimized. Consequently the solution process involves significant
computational effort. Despite this diffickty it has been reconnized that an optimization
of tdpology can greatly improve a design. Therefore, it i s essential that ~opological
considerations constitute an integral part of the structural optimization process.
This research wassupported in part by NSF grant DDM9111369. This support is gratefully acknowledged.
I. Kirsch. U. (1989) Optimal topologies of structures. Applied Mecltanirs Reviews, 42. (8), 223239.
2. Vnnderplnats, G. N. and Moses, F. (1972) Automated design of trusses for optimum geometry. ASCE,
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