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Engineering Optimization
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Simultaneous optimization of force and


placement of friction dampers under
seismic loading
a b
Letícia Fleck Fadel Miguel , Leandro Fleck Fadel Miguel & Rafael
b
Holdorf Lopez
a
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Rio
Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
b
Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Santa
Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil
Published online: 30 Mar 2015.
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To cite this article: Letícia Fleck Fadel Miguel, Leandro Fleck Fadel Miguel & Rafael Holdorf Lopez
(2015): Simultaneous optimization of force and placement of friction dampers under seismic
loading, Engineering Optimization, DOI: 10.1080/0305215X.2015.1025774

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Engineering Optimization, 2015
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0305215X.2015.1025774

Simultaneous optimization of force and placement of friction


dampers under seismic loading
Letícia Fleck Fadel Miguela∗ , Leandro Fleck Fadel Miguelb and Rafael Holdorf Lopezb
a Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil;
b Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil
Downloaded by [New York University] at 01:14 11 May 2015

(Received 29 August 2014; accepted 27 February 2015)

It is known that the use of passive energy-dissipation devices, such as friction dampers, reduces consid-
erably the dynamic response of a structure subjected to earthquake ground motions. Nevertheless, the
parameters of each damper and the best placement of these devices remain difficult to determine. Some
articles on optimum design of tuned mass dampers and viscous dampers have been published; however,
there is a lack of studies on optimization of friction dampers. The main contribution of this article is
to propose a methodology to simultaneously optimize the location of friction dampers and their friction
forces in structures subjected to seismic loading, to achieve a desired level of reduction in the response.
For this purpose, the recently developed backtracking search optimization algorithm (BSA) is employed,
which can deal with optimization problems involving mixed discrete and continuous variables. For illus-
tration purposes, two different structures are presented. The first is a six-storey shear building and the
second is a transmission line tower. In both cases, the forces and positions of friction dampers are the
design variables, while the objective functions are to minimize the interstorey drift for the first case and
to minimize the maximum displacement at the top of the tower for the second example. The results show
that the proposed method was able to reduce the interstorey drift of the shear building by more than 65%
and the maximum displacement at the top of the tower by approximately 55%, with only three friction
dampers. The proposed methodology is quite general and it could be recommended as an effective tool for
optimum design of friction dampers for structural response control. Thus, this article shows that friction
dampers can be designed in a safe and economic way.

Keywords: friction dampers optimization; dynamic problem optimization; mixed discrete and contin-
uous variables; backtracking search optimization algorithm (BSA); passive vibration control; seismic
load

1. Introduction

For a long time, reduction of vibration amplitudes has been the subject of study by many
researchers. For example, the use of vibration absorbers dates back to the 1900s when Frahm,
in 1909, proposed a kind of tuned mass damper (TMD). The Frahm model was applied to a
main spring-mass without damping that was attached to a small spring-mass without damping to
reduce the displacement of the main mass subjected to harmonic load. More recently, there has
been a rapid increase in the development and application of passive energy-dissipation devices,
such as viscoelastic dampers, viscous fluid dampers, metallic yield dampers and friction dampers
(Soong and Dargush 1997). A growing number of these dampers has been installed in structures

*Corresponding author. Email: letffm@ufrgs.br

© 2015 Taylor & Francis


2 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

around the world. For example, in the McConnell Library of Concordia University in Montreal,
Canada, 143 friction dampers were employed; in the Funade Pedestrian Bridge tower in Osaka,
Japan, an air damper type TMD was developed for the structure; and 260 viscoelastic dampers
were incorporated into the Columbia SeaFirst Building in Seattle, USA (Soong and Dargush
1997). The objective of these devices is to absorb a portion of the input energy, due to earthquake
or wind, for instance, reducing the dynamic response of the structure. Despite the known effec-
tiveness of these dampers in reducing the dynamic response, as been shown in many works (e.g.
Filiatrault 1985; Qu, Chen, and Xu 2001; Rocha, Riera, and Miguel 2004; Miguel, Curadelli,
and Riera 2004; Curadelli, Riera, and Miguel 2006; Miguel, Riera, and Curadelli 2006; Min,
Seong, and Kim 2010), the development of methods for optimum use of these devices is still an
important research issue.
To enable utilization of these dampers in an economic way, several researchers, especially in
the past decade, have started to study the optimization of their parameters and their best posi-
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tions in a structure. Although a great number of articles on optimization of TMD exists (e.g.
Chen and Wu 2001; Li and Qu 2006; Lee et al. 2006; Desu, Deb, and Dutta 2006; Warnitchai
and Hoang 2006; Ghosh and Basu 2007; Hoang, Fujino, and Warnitchai 2008; Wang, Lin, and
Lian 2009; Marano, Greco, and Chiaia 2010; Dehghan-Niri, Zahrai, and Mohtat 2010; Arfiadi
and Hadi 2011; Farshi and Assadi 2011; Mohebbi et al. 2013; Fadel Miguel, Lopez, and Miguel
2013a; Lavan and Daniel 2013; Brzeski, Perlikowski, and Kapitaniak 2014), along with some
works on the optimum design of viscous and viscoelastic dampers (e.g. Singh and Moreschi
2002; Movaffaghi and Friberg 2006; Aydin, Boduroglu, and Guney 2007; Marano, Trentadue,
and Greco 2007; Aydin 2012; Sonmez, Aydin, and Karabork 2013), the authors have not found
any article dealing with the problem of optimization of friction dampers in structures subjected
to seismic action, in which both parameters, friction forces and placement (best location), are
optimized simultaneously. However, some important investigations on the optimization of fric-
tion or hysteretic dampers, which deal with the optimization problem from different perspectives,
contribute to the knowledge on the issue (e.g. Moreschi 2000; Jangid 2000; Uetani, Tsuji, and
Takewaki 2003; Moreschi and Singh 2003; Basili and De Angelis 2007).
Within this context, this article studies the optimization of a different type of passive control:
friction dampers, for which there is a lack of studies in the literature. The main contribution of the
present article is to propose a methodology to optimize at the same time the location of friction
dampers and their friction forces in structures subjected to seismic loading, to achieve a desired
level of reduction in the dynamic response. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first
work to deal with this simultaneous optimization of friction dampers for passive control.
Because the location of a friction damper at a particular position in a structure is a discrete
number, it is a discrete design variable, whereas the friction forces of each damper are best rep-
resented by continuous numbers, i.e. they are continuous design variables. So, the optimization
algorithm must assess a mixed-variable optimization problem that includes both discrete and
continuous variables at the same time. Such problems are usually non-convex, and therefore
must be solved by optimization methods capable of handling this type of problem. Heuristic
algorithms are well suited to solving such optimization problems. The advantages of these algo-
rithms include the following: (1) they do not require gradient information and can be applied
to problems in which the gradient is difficult to obtain or simply does not exist; (2) they do
not become stuck in local minima if correctly tuned; (3) they can be applied to non-smooth or
discontinuous functions; (4) they furnish a set of optimal solutions instead of a single solution,
giving the designer a set of options from which to choose; and (5) they can be easily employed
to solve mixed-variable optimization problems (Miguel and Fadel Miguel 2012; Fadel Miguel,
Lopez, and Miguel 2013b).
Many heuristic algorithms have been presented in the recent literature, such as the bat
algorithm (Yang and Gandomi 2012), cuckoo search (Gandomi, Yang, and Alavi 2013b) and
Engineering Optimization 3

krill herd (Gandomi, Alavi, and Talatahari 2013a; Gandomi et al. 2013), to name just a few.
A review of nature-inspired algorithms can be found in Yang (2008, 2010). Among the heuris-
tic algorithms, the backtracking search optimization algorithm (BSA), developed by Civicioglu
(2013), has been shown to be very accurate and efficient (Civicioglu 2013); therefore, the BSA
is selected for solving the optimization problem proposed in this article.
Finally, it is important to note that uncertainties in the structural properties and/or in the
seismic excitation can influence the optimum solution. Therefore, it would be ideal if these
uncertainties were taken into account in the optimization procedure, leading to a problem of
optimization under uncertainty, e.g. robust optimization (Greco, Lucchini, and Marano 2014;
Lucchini et al. 2014) or reliability-based design (Taflanidis, Beck, and Angelides 2007). How-
ever, in this article a simplified model is adopted, which considers the problem to be deterministic
in order to focus the attention on the proposed design methodology. From the practical point of
view, the proposed approach may be extended to more complex models, e.g. robust optimization
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or reliability-based design of passive control devices. The main issue with this extension is the
huge computational cost, which is already high for the deterministic problem.
The proposed optimization procedure is followed by verification through numerical exam-
ples. This article is organized as follows: Section 2 presents the problem formulation, Section 3
describes the BSA, Section 4 presents the two illustrative examples, and Section 5 presents some
conclusions.

2. Problem formulation

This section presents the equation of motion, the simulation procedure of seismic loading and
the proposed optimization problem.

2.1. Equation of motion

The differential equation that governs the motion of a multi-degree-of-freedom system with
added friction dampers and subjected to earthquake ground motions may be written as:

 f (t) + Kz(t) = −MBÿ(t)


Mz̈(t) + Cż(t) + F (1)

in which M, C and K represent the n × n structural mass, inherent damping and stiffness matri-
ces, respectively, and n is the number of degrees of freedom. The damping matrix C is considered
to be proportional to the M and K matrices, as: C = aM + bK. z(t) is the n-dimensional rela-
tive displacement vector with respect to the base and a dot over a symbol indicates differentiation
with respect to time. B is an n × d matrix of ground motion influence coefficients, i.e. this matrix
contains the cosine directors of the angles formed between the base motion and the direction of
the associated displacement with the considered degree of freedom. d is the number of considered
ground motions (directions). ÿ(t) is a d-dimensional vector representing the seismic excitation,
i.e. the base acceleration. F  f (t) is the n-dimensional Coulomb friction force vector, which is
defined by:

F  fn sgn(v̇(t))
 f (t) = F (2)

in which F  where μ is the friction coefficient, assumed to be constant, and N


 fn = μN,  is the

vector of normal force; v̇(t) is the vector of relative velocity between the two ends of the friction
4 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

damper and sgn(v̇(t)) is the signal function, defined by:



⎨+1 for v̇(t) > 0

sgn(v̇(t)) = 0 for v̇(t) = 0 (3)


−1 for v̇(t) < 0

As may be seen in Equations (2) and (3), the magnitude of the friction force is constant, but
its direction is always opposite to that of the sliding velocity. In the problem under consider-
ation in this article, i.e. determining and minimizing the dynamic response of structures with
friction dampers, the direction of the sliding velocity changes often. These frequent changes in
the velocity direction cause many discontinuities in the friction force, complicating the process
of evaluating the response of systems with friction dampers.
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In this context, many authors have proposed alternative methods to represent the friction force.
Tan and Rogers (1995) present an analysis of the friction energy dissipated by each mode to
derive several models of equivalent friction modal damping. These friction damping factors can
be subtracted from the overall modal damping factors when carrying out computer simulations
where the dynamic friction forces are calculated directly. To verify whether the equivalent fric-
tion damping models are reasonable, Tan and Rogers (1995) simulated a two-degree-of-freedom
system using three approaches: a piecewise continuous analytical method, numerical integration
with a spring-damper friction model, and numerical integration with equivalent friction damping.
Five cases with periodic and non-periodic excitation were considered. These authors concluded
that the equivalent friction damping works very well for cases where sliding motions predom-
inate, and for long periods of sticking, the overall motions are predicted well but the detailed
motions are approximated.
Mostaghel and Davis (1997) showed that the discontinuous Coulomb friction force can be
represented by at least four different continuous functions. Each of these functions involves one
constant (α i ) that controls the level of accuracy of that function’s representation of the friction
force. The accuracy of the various representations was verified by these authors, comparing the
response of a single-degree-of-freedom system, obtained through numerical solutions utilizing
these representations, with an exact analytical solution. The four continuous functions analysed
by Mostaghel and Davis (1997) are given in Equation (4) and represented in Figure 1.

f2 (α2 , v̇) = Tanh(α2 v̇)


f1 (α1 , v̇) = Erf(α1 v̇)
f3 (α3 , v̇) = (2/π )ArcTan(α3 v̇) (4)
f4 (α4 , v̇) = α4 v̇/1 + α4 |v̇|

In this article, as well as in previous works (Miguel 2002; Miguel and Riera 2002; Curadelli,
Miguel, and Riera 2003; Miguel and Riera 2008), the authors chose to use the nonlinear function
f2 (α2 , v̇) = Tanh(α2 v̇), suggested by Mostaghel and Davis (1997). In this article it is assumed
that α 2 = 1e10 for both examples.
A computational routine was developed by the authors in MATLAB language for determining
the dynamic response of structures with added friction dampers, i.e. for solving Equation (1).
This developed program uses the finite difference explicit method, which is a direct method of
integration of the motion equations in the time domain. In addition, as previously explained,
the discontinuous signal function was replaced by the continuous hyperbolic tangent function,
according to function f 2 of Equation (4).
Engineering Optimization 5
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Figure 1. Comparisons of the four representations of the signal function (α i = 10) proposed by Mostaghel and Davis
(1997).

2.2. Simulating seismic loading

To solve Equation (1), it is necessary to define the seismic loading. In the present article, as well
as in many studies found in the literature (e.g. Singh and Moreschi 2001; Singh and Moreschi
2002; Mohebbi et al. 2013), the seismic load is defined as a one-dimensional earthquake loading
that is simulated by passing a Gaussian white noise process through a Kanai–Tajimi filter (Kanai
1961; Tajimi 1960) with the power spectral density (PSD) function given by:
 
ωg4 + 4ωg2 ξg2 ω2 0.03ξg
S(ω) = S0 , S0 = (5)
(ω2 − ωg2 )2 + 4ωg2 ξg2 ω2 π ωg (4ξg2 + 1)

in which S 0 is constant spectral density and ξ g and ωg are the ground damping and frequency,
respectively. That is, this procedure enables the designer to construct the seismic records taking
into account characteristics of the soil where the structure will be built.
However, it is important to note that the optimal solution may vary if the spectral characteris-
tics (ξ g and ωg ) of the Kanai–Tajimi spectrum are changed. The ground damping and frequency
will depend on the characteristics of the region where the building is being or will be built, and
should be carefully chosen by the designer.
For illustrative purposes, it is considered that the building code of the region where the
structures are to be built requires a peak ground acceleration (PGA) of 0.20 g. For the ground
parameters, values of ξ g = 0.5 and ωg = 20 rad/s are adopted.
The simulated time history of the Kanai–Tajimi excitation used for designing optimal friction
dampers is shown in Figure 2. Figure 3 shows the PSD of this generated acceleration record.

2.3. Placement and force optimization

Based primarily on an analogy to the automotive brake, Pall, Marsh, and Fazio (1980) began the
development of passive frictional dampers to improve the seismic response of structures. The
objective is to slow down the motion of buildings ‘by braking rather than breaking’ (Pall and
Marsh 1982). Despite friction dampers having been used for around 30 years, a mathematical
optimization procedure for their use, based on optimization algorithms, either does not exist or is
6 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

Figure 2. Kanai–Tajimi excitation with peak ground acceleration of 0.20 g (1.96 m/s2 ).
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Figure 3. Power spectral density of the generated Kanai–Tajimi excitation.

not widely known. Thus, in this section, the proposed method for the optimum design of friction
dampers will be described.
Common criteria used to assess the effectiveness of passive energy-dissipation devices, such
as friction dampers, installed in structures are their ability to reduce the maximum displacement
(zmax ) of the structure and to reduce the maximum interstorey drift (d max ) in the case of build-
ings. In this article, the optimization problem has as objective function to minimize the maximum
interstorey drift for the case of the shear building (first example) and to minimize the maximum
displacement for the transmission line tower (second example), determined through the calcula-
tion of the vector z(t), which is obtained solving Equation (1) in the time domain. The proposed
method is flexible and the objective function can be changed easily, as long as it can be calculated
numerically.
The design variables are the friction forces of each friction damper (F fn ), considered as con-
tinuous variables, and the positions of each passive energy-dissipation device in the structure
(vector P ), considered as discrete variables. The corresponding constraints are the allowed limits
for the friction forces (lower bound ≤ F fn ≤ upper bound), the maximum number of dampers to
be installed (nd ) in the structure, and the number and position of predefined possible locations
for the dampers (np ).
Consequently, P  is expressed as an np -dimensional vector of position consisting of 0 and 1,
which indicates that there is a damper in that position if the number is 1. Therefore, the maximum
number of ones in the vector P  is nd . That is, presuming a maximum number of dampers, the
optimal variable shows different positions of number 0 and 1.
Engineering Optimization 7

Therefore, given all predetermined possible positions for the friction dampers in the structure
and the desired maximum number of devices to be placed in the structure, it is of interest to
determine the optimal location of each friction damper and the optimal friction forces of such
devices to achieve a maximum reduction in the structural response, when the structure is excited
by earthquake ground motions, using the BSA. For each optimization run, the program gives
the optimal placement of the friction dampers and the optimal friction force of each damper,
while constraining the maximum number of available dampers and predefined positions. For
 ]. Thus, the
 fn , P
convenience of notation, the design variables are grouped into the vector x = [F
optimization problem can be posed as:
Find x
Minimizes J(x) = dmax (x) ou J(x) = zmax (x) (6)
⎧ j

⎨Ffn ≤ Ffn ≤ Ffn , j = 1, . . . , nd
min max
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Subject to number of available positions = np




maximum number of dampers = nd

The optimization problem stated above can be solved using the BSA described in the next
section.

3. Backtracking search optimization algorithm

As explained previously, the optimization problem under consideration in the present article is a
mixed-variable optimization problem. Thus, the optimization algorithm must be able to deal with
a problem that includes both discrete and continuous variables at the same time. Such problems
are usually non-convex, and therefore must be solved by optimization methods capable of han-
dling this type of problem. Evolutionary algorithms are well suited to solve such optimization
problems.
Within this context, among the evolutionary algorithms, the BSA, developed recently by Civi-
cioglu (2013), has been shown to be very accurate and efficient (Civicioglu 2013); therefore, the
BSA is successfully used for solving the optimization problem proposed in this article.
The bio-inspired philosophy of the BSA is analogous to the return of a social group of liv-
ing creatures at random intervals to hunting areas that were previously found to be fruitful for
obtaining nourishment. According to Civicioglu (2013), the development of the BSA was moti-
vated by studies that attempt to develop simpler and more effective search algorithms. The BSA
has many advantages over other search algorithms, such as: it has a single control parameter,
namely mixrate; its performance in solving a problem is not oversensitive to the initial value
of this control parameter; it has a simple structure that is effective, fast and capable of solv-
ing multimodal problems and that enables it to easily adapt to different numerical optimization
problems; its strategy for generating a trial population includes two new crossover and muta-
tion operators; its strategies for generating trial populations and controlling the amplitude of
the search-direction matrix and search-space boundaries give it very powerful exploration and
exploitation capabilities; it possesses a memory in which it stores a population from a randomly
chosen previous generation for use in generating the search-direction matrix, and consequently,
its memory allows it to take advantage of experiences gained from previous generations when
it generates a trial preparation (Civicioglu 2013). In addition, Civicioglu (2013) compared 75
boundary-constrained benchmark problems and three constrained real-world benchmark prob-
lems, and showed that the BSA could solve the 78 benchmark problems more successfully than
the comparison algorithms (six widely used evolutionary algorithms).
8 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

The BSA is explained in detail in Civicioglu (2013), where in addition to a detailed description
of the algorithm, the author presents the pseudo-codes and provides the path to download the
algorithm for implementation (the software codes in MATLAB). Thus, in the present article only
a brief description of the BSA is presented. For a comprehensive review of the algorithm the
reader is referred to Civicioglu (2013).
According to Civicioglu (2013), the BSA can be divided into five processes or steps: Initial-
ization, Selection-I, Mutation, Crossover and Selection-II, which are described in the following
subsections.

3.1. Initialization

The initial population PP of the BSA is given by:


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PPi,j ∼ U(lowj , upj ) (7)

for i = 1, 2, 3, . . . , N and j = 1, 2, 3, . . . , D, in which N is the population size and D is the


problem dimension, i.e. the length of the variable vector x. U is the uniform distribution and each
PPi is an individual in the population PP.

3.2. Selection-I

The historical population (oldPP) to be used to calculate the search-direction matrix is


determined in this step. The initial oldPP is obtained by:

oldPPi,j ∼ U(lowj , upj ) (8)

The BSA has the option of redefining the oldPP at the beginning of each iteration through the
following ‘if–then’ command:

if a<b then oldPP := PP|a, b∼ U(0, 1) (9)

in which : = is the update operation. Equation (9) ensures that the algorithm designates a pop-
ulation belonging to a randomly selected previous generation as the historical population and
remembers this historical population until it is changed. Therefore, BSA has a memory.
After the determination of oldPP, Equation (10) is used to randomly alter the order of the
individuals in oldPP.
oldPP := permuting(oldPP) (10)
The permuting function used in Equation (10) is a random shuffling function.

3.3. Mutation

The mutation process of the BSA generates the initial form of the trial population, called Mutant,
through:
Mutant = PP + FF · (oldPP − PP) (11)
in which FF is a parameter that controls the amplitude of the search-direction matrix (oldPP −
PP). Since the historical population is involved in this calculation, a trial population is gener-
ated, using the experience from previous generations. Civicioglu (2013) suggests using the value
FF = 3·rndn, in which rndn ∼ N(0,1), N being the standard normal distribution.
Engineering Optimization 9

3.4. Crossover

The crossover step of the BSA generates the final form of the trial population, called T. The
initial value of the trial population, called Mutant, is set in the Mutation stage, as explained
before. Trial individuals with better fitness values for the optimization problem are used to evolve
the target population individuals. The crossover stage of the BSA has two steps. The first step
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Figure 4. Pseudo-code of the backtracking search optimization algorithm (adapted from Civicioglu 2013).
10 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

calculates a binary integer-valued matrix (map) of size N·D that indicates the individuals of T
to be manipulated by using the relevant individuals of PP. If mapn,m = 1, in which n ∈ {1, 2,
3, . . . , N} and m ∈ {1, 2, 3, . . . , D}, T is updated with T n,m : = PPn,m .
The crossover stage of the BSA is quite different from the crossover strategies used in the dif-
ferential evolution algorithm and its variants. The mix-rate parameter (mixrate) in the crossover
process of the BSA controls the number of elements of individuals that will mutate in a trial by
using [mixrate·rnd·D], rnd ∼ U(0,1). According to Civicioglu (2013), the function of the mix
rate is quite different from the crossover rate used in the differential evolution algorithm.
Two predefined strategies are randomly used to define the map. The first uses mixrate and the
second allows only one randomly chosen individual to mutate in each trial. The crossover step of
the BSA is more complex than the processes used in the differential evolution algorithm. Some
individuals of the trial population obtained at the end of the crossover stage can overflow the
allowed search-space limits as a result of the mutation strategy.
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3.5. Selection-II

In this step, the T i s that have better fitness values than the corresponding PPi s are used to update
the PPi s based on a greedy selection. If the best individual of PP (PPbest ) has a better fitness
value than the global minimum value obtained so far by BSA, the global minimizer is updated
to be PPbest and the global minimum value is updated to be the fitness value of PPbest .
Thus, the general steps of the BSA can be summarized as the pseudo-code shown in Figure 4,
adapted from Civicioglu (2013).

4. Simulated structures

In this section, two common structures will be studied to assess the capacity of the proposed
method to optimize simultaneously forces and positions of friction dampers, in order to reduce
the dynamic response of the structures.
The BSA parameter, namely mixrate, is 1.0 for both examples. This value was chosen based
on tests performed by the authors and also because it had been suggested by Civicioglu (2013).
As explained before, two objective functions are used to illustrate the proposed method for
the optimum design of friction dampers. Both objective functions involve the determination of
vector z(t), which is obtained by solving Equation (1). An in-house program developed by the
authors that uses the finite difference explicit method, which is a direct method of integration of
the motion equations in the time domain, is used to solve Equation (1).

4.1. Six-storey shear building

The first example analysed is the steel six-storey shear building, 18 m high and 12 m wide, shown
in Figure 5. The concentrated masses of each one of the six storeys are equal to 82.0 × 103 kg,
while the equivalent stiffness of each storey is 290.0 × 106 N/m. Damping ratios for the first
and second modes are equal to 0.5% (a = 1.0699 × 10−1 and b = 1.7695 × 10−4 ). The natural
frequencies are 2.28, 6.71, 10.75, 14.17, 16.76 and 18.38 Hz.
As may be seen in Figure 5, there are six predefined possible locations (i.e. np = 6) for the
friction dampers, represented by P1, P2, . . . , P6. These devices are assumed to be installed
between neighbouring storeys by braces with sufficient stiffness.
Note that the angle φ (Figure 5), which represents the inclination of the dampers with the
direction of motion (horizontal), should be considered when calculating the friction forces of
Engineering Optimization 11

Braces with sufficient stiffness


Friction damper
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Figure 5. Six-storey shear building and possible locations of friction dampers.

each damper. The difference between the friction forces of neighbouring storeys should also be
considered in this calculation.
To carry out the simultaneous optimization of friction forces and positions of the friction
dampers, this shear building is subjected to the generated Kanai–Tajimi excitation shown in
Figure 2.
The objective function for this illustrative example is the minimization of the maximum inter-
storey drift (d max ) of the shear building, while the forces and positions of the friction dampers
are the continuous and discrete design variables, respectively. The constraints are the number
of predefined possible locations for the dampers (np ), equal to 6 (see Figure 5); the maximum
number of dampers to be installed (nd ) in the structure, equal to 3; and the allowable limit for
the friction forces of each damper, 50 kN ≤ F fn ≤ 500 kN. The positions of these predefined
possible locations for the dampers are assumed to be between all neighbouring storeys, as shown
in Figure 5. The integration step t to solve Equation (1) was chosen to be equal to 0.01 s. The
number of generations and the population size of the BSA are set to 20 and 5000, respectively. In
order to set these parameters, several combinations of them were tested, and the ones presented
above were those that provided the best results. Ten independent runs were carried out, and the
results are presented in Table 1.
As may be seen in Table 1, the results of the 10 independent runs are very similar. The mean
maximum interstorey drift is 0.004409 m, the standard deviation is 4.02 × 10−5 m and, conse-
quently, the coefficient of variation is 0.91%. This very low standard deviation from the mean

Table 1. Optimal force and placement of friction dampers for the six-storey shear building.

Run )
Best position (vector P Best friction forces (F fn ) (kN) Maximum interstory drift (d max ) (m)

– Without dampers Uncontrolled structure 0.012766


1 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 415.630; 316.772; 203.044 0.004313
2 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 420.153; 310.706; 190.363 0.004386
3 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 458.858; 308.605; 162.886 0.004396
4 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 427.612; 302.330; 177.479 0.004397
5 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 446.354; 306.035; 189.995 0.004411
6 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 433.362; 304.880; 207.079 0.004423
7 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 442.108; 295.725; 203.976 0.004436
8 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 424.632; 292.024; 161.777 0.004440
9 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 415.644; 289.772; 163.821 0.004443
10 [1 1 1 0 0 0] 453.941; 290.161; 153.644 0.004447
12 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

Table 2. Maximum interstorey drift of the six-storey shear building.

Maximum interstorey drift (m)


Storey Without dampers With three friction dampers Reduction (%)

1 0.012766 0.004259 66.64


2 0.012138 0.004313 64.47
3 0.010913 0.004228 61.26
4 0.009060 0.003270 63.91
5 0.006579 0.002729 58.52
6 0.003510 0.002001 43.00

value shows that the proposed method is robust in finding the optimal force and placement of
friction dampers for vibration control. Any one of the 10 solutions presented in Table 1 can be
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used, resulting in a reduction of more than 65% in the maximum interstorey drift. As indicated
by vector P  , the best position for the friction dampers is in the first three storeys (P1, P2 and P3).
Table 2 presents the maximum interstorey drift for each storey, for the uncontrolled struc-
ture and for the structure with the optimal solution obtained in run 1 presented in Table 1. The
maximum interstorey drift reduction in each storey obtained after the installation of the three
optimized friction dampers is also presented in Table 2, resulting in values between 43% and
67%. Figure 6 illustrates these maximum interstorey drifts, without friction dampers and for the
optimum design. Figure 7 shows the response in terms of the interstorey drift at the first storey
of the structure, again without friction dampers and for the optimum design.
A comparison of the proposed method using the BSA with a standard genetic algorithm (GA)
is shown in Table 3, confirming again the effectiveness of the method. The GA parameters used
in this study, namely generation and population, are equal to 20 and 5000, respectively.
Besides the above simulation, nine independent runs were carried out with GA, making a
total of 10 simulations. The results showed that the best positions (vector P  ) are the same in
all runs and the best total friction forces are also very similar. The mean maximum interstorey
drift is 0.004539 m, the standard deviation is 7.72 × 10−5 m and, consequently, the coefficient

Figure 6. Envelope diagrams of maximum interstorey drift for the six-storey shear building, without friction dampers
(red curve) and optimum design, with three dampers (blue curve).
Engineering Optimization 13

Interstorey Drift at the First Storey


0.014
0.012 0 Dampers: dmax = 0.0128m
0.01 3 Dampers: dmax = 0.0043m
0.008
Interstorey Drift (m)

0.006
0.004
0.002
0
-0.002
-0.004
-0.006
-0.008
-0.01
-0.012
-0.014
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0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Time (s)
Figure 7. Interstorey drift at the first storey of the structure for the six-storey shear building, without friction dampers
(red curve) and optimum design, with three dampers (blue curve).

Table 3. Comparison of the performance of the proposed backtracking search optimization algorithm (BSA)
with a standard genetic algorithm (GA) for the six-storey shear building.

Method )
Best position (vector P Best friction forces (F fn ) (kN) Maximum interstorey drift (d max ) (m)

BSA [1 1 1 0 0 0] 415.630; 316.772; 203.044 0.004313


GA [1 1 1 0 0 0] 439.552; 296.240; 171.231 0.004462

of variation is 1.70%. As can be observed, these results obtained with the GA are slightly higher
than the results obtained with the BSA.
In addition, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in another way, the opti-
mal solution is compared with a solution obtained by positioning the dampers (with the same
total friction force) in a different position from the optimized one, which, for instance, distributes
the dampers throughout the structure. In this context, Figure 8 shows a comparison of the opti-
mal solution obtained with the proposed method (run 1 in Table 1: friction forces = 415.630;

Interstorey Drift at the First storey


0.01
Distributed Positions: dmax = 0.00815m
0.008 Optimized Positions: dmax = 0.00431m

0.006
Interstorey Drift (m)

0.004
0.002
0
-0.002
-0.004
-0.006
-0.008
-0.01
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Time (s)
Figure 8. Comparison of the proposed method with another way of positioning the dampers, for the case of the shear
building.
14 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

316.772; 203.044; 0; 0; 0 kN; and maximum interstorey drift = 0.004313 m) with the solution
obtained having installed dampers with the same friction forces, but placed in different positions
from the optimal ones (friction forces = 0; 415.630; 0; 316.772; 0; 203.044 kN; and maximum
interstorey drift = 0.008150 m).
As can be seen in Figure 8, the maximum interstorey drift obtained with dampers of the same
friction forces installed in different positions is 89% greater than the maximum interstorey drift
obtained with the dampers in the optimum positions.
Finally, to show the advantages of optimizing the location of friction dampers and their fric-
tion forces simultaneously, a comparative study was carried out, as explained in the following.
Initially, the optimization of the location and forces was carried out separately, to compare the
results with those obtained in the simultaneous optimization. For this comparison, first, the fric-
tion forces of the three dampers were set to 200 kN, and then the placement of these three
dampers was optimized, resulting in the positions P1, P2 and P3 (200; 200; 200; 0; 0; 0) kN. After
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that, in a second stage, these three positions were set and then the friction forces of these three
dampers were optimized, resulting in 432.331, 292.226 and 209.829 kN, respectively (432.331;
292.226; 209.829; 0; 0; 0) kN. These friction forces and placements resulted in a maximum
interstorey drift of 0.004475 m.
From analysis of the results of this optimization of the friction forces and placement separately,
it may be concluded that the results of the positions of dampers are exactly the same as obtained
in the simultaneous optimization, and the friction forces are very similar to those obtained in
the simultaneous optimization. The maximum interstorey drift was slightly higher than in the
simultaneous optimization.
It is important to point out that despite the results of the separate and simultaneous optimiza-
tion being very similar, the great advantage of the simultaneous optimization is the computational
cost, which is almost half the time of the separate optimization. This fact is very important since
the computational time in a dynamic problem is high.

4.2. Transmission line tower

The second example analyses the transmission line tower, 52 m high, 10 m at the base and 24
m at the top, shown in Figure 9. It is a steel tower, with Young’s modulus equal to 205 GPa
and specific mass of 7850 kg/m3 . The cross-sectional areas of the bars are given in Table 4. The
tower is modelled as a finite element two-dimensional truss structure consisting of 70 elements
and 35 nodes, as shown in Figure 9. Damping ratios for the first and second modes are equal to
0.4% (a = 8.2036 × 10−2 and b = 1.5957 × 10−4 ). The first six natural frequencies are 2.29,
5.69, 10.38, 14.16, 14.21 and 20.22 Hz.
As may be seen in Figure 9, there are seven predefined possible locations (np = 7) for the
friction dampers, represented by P1, P2, . . . , P7. These devices are assumed to be installed in
diagonal members of the tower, by braces with sufficient stiffness. An advantage of the proposed
method is that it is flexible and it allows the user to select the maximum number of dampers to
be installed, and also whether or not predefined possible positions for the friction dampers will
be adopted (i.e. the user can test all positions). This flexibility of the proposed method is espe-
cially useful in case of large structures. For large structures, in which there are a many possible
locations for the friction dampers (i.e. a lot of design variables—positions and friction forces),
testing all positions will require a high computational time. Thus, the proposed method allows
the designer, based on his or her experience, to predefine some possible locations and check
whether the desired level of reduction was achieved, reducing the number of design variables.
For small structures (with a small number of design variables—a few positions and friction
forces) or for those in which the designer prefers not to predefine some positions, it is possible
Engineering Optimization 15

32 33 34 35

31

29 30
P1
28

26
P2 27
25

23 24

22

18 19 20 21
P3
17

15 16
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P4
14

P5
11

9 10
P6
8

6 7
P7

3 4 5

1 2

Figure 9. Transmission line tower and possible locations of friction dampers.

Table 4. Cross-sectional areas of the members of the transmission line tower.

Group Member number Area (m2 )

Inferior main members 1, 4, 5, 10, 11, 14 0.0060


Inferior and intermediate diagonals 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 0.0010
21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 33,
34
Intermediate main members 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32 0.0050
Secondary members (arms) 35, 36, 37, 38, 43, 46, 59, 60, 65, 68, 0.0040
69, 70
Superior main members 39, 42, 47, 50, 53, 56, 61, 64 0.0015
Superior diagonals 40, 41, 44, 45, 48, 49, 51, 52, 54, 55, 0.0008
57, 58, 62, 63, 66, 67

to use the proposed method without preselecting possible locations for friction dampers, i.e. to
test all positions. The designer must be aware that the higher the number of design variables, the
more computationally demanding the solution of the problem. For example, in the problem pre-
sented in this section, the designer could propose installing twice as many dampers in different
16 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

Table 5. Optimal force and placement of friction dampers for the transmission line tower.

Run )
Best position (vector P Best friction forces (F fn ) (N) Maximum displacement (zmax ) (m)

– Without dampers Uncontrolled structure 0.05962


1 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6548; 1296; 3353 0.02711
2 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6708; 1201; 3408 0.02722
3 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6828; 1130; 3262 0.02723
4 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6948; 1269; 3458 0.02725
5 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6590; 1224; 3356 0.02726
6 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6868; 1203; 3464 0.02736
7 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6675; 1309; 3293 0.02741
8 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6512; 1123; 3394 0.02744
9 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6740; 1174; 3366 0.02746
10 [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6978; 1285; 3337 0.02752
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locations. From the point of view of the proposed methodology, the result would be only a larger
optimization problem to solve, i.e. it would not be limited to the choice of the designer.
To carry out the simultaneous optimization of friction forces and positions of the friction
dampers, this transmission line tower is subjected to the generated Kanai–Tajimi excitation
shown in Figure 2.
The objective function for this illustrative example is the minimization of the maximum dis-
placement (zmax ) of the tower, while the forces and positions of the friction dampers are the
continuous and discrete design variables, respectively. The constraints are the number of prede-
fined possible locations for the dampers (np ), equal to 7 (see Figure 9); the maximum number of
dampers to be installed (nd ) in the structure, equal to 3; and the allowable limit for the friction
forces of each damper, 700 N ≤ F fn ≤ 7000 N. The positions of these predefined possible loca-
tions for the dampers are assumed to be in diagonal members of the tower, as shown in Figure
9. The integration step t to solve Equation (1) was chosen to be equal to 5.4 × 10−4 s. The
number of generations and the population size of the BSA are set to 20 and 1000, respectively.
Ten independent runs were carried out, and the results are presented in Table 5.
As may be seen in Table 5, the results of the 10 independent runs are very similar. The
mean maximum displacement is 0.02733 m, the standard deviation is 1.31 × 10−4 m and, conse-
quently, the coefficient of variation is 0.48%. This small standard deviation from the mean value
shows that the proposed method is robust in finding the optimal force and placement of friction
dampers for vibration control. Any one of the 10 solutions presented in Table 5 can be used,
resulting in a reduction of around 54% in the maximum displacement at the top of the structure
(node 35). As indicated by vector P  , the best location for the friction dampers is in the position
of bars 58, 52 and 34 (P1, P2 and P3).
Table 6 presents the maximum displacements of the nodes on the right side of the tower, for the
uncontrolled structure and for the structure with the optimal solution obtained in run 1 presented
in Table 5. The maximum displacement reduction in each node obtained after the installation
of the three optimized friction dampers is also presented in Table 6, resulting in values between
52% and 61%. Figure 10 illustrates these maximum displacements, without friction dampers and
for the optimum design. Figure 11 shows the response at the top of the structure (node 35), again
without friction dampers and for the optimum design.
A comparison of the proposed method using the BSA with a standard GA is shown in Table 7,
confirming the effectiveness of the proposed method. The GA parameters used for this study,
namely generation and population, are equal to 20 and 1000, respectively.
Besides the above simulation, nine independent runs were carried out with GA, making a total
of 10 simulations. The results showed that the best positions (vector P  ) are the same in all runs
and the best total friction forces are also very similar. The mean maximum displacement at the
Engineering Optimization 17

Table 6. Maximum displacements of the transmission line tower.

Maximum displacement (m)


Node Without dampers With three friction dampers Reduction (%)

5 0.00308 0.00137 55.53


7 0.00441 0.00182 58.82
10 0.00782 0.00306 60.86
13 0.01235 0.00507 58.97
16 0.01809 0.00790 56.32
21 0.02522 0.01144 54.64
24 0.03165 0.01478 53.30
27 0.03919 0.01854 52.70
30 0.04872 0.02252 53.78
35 0.05962 0.02711 54.52
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Figure 10. Envelope diagrams of maximum displacement for the transmission line tower, without friction dampers
(red curve) and optimum design, with three dampers (blue curve).

top of the tower is 0.02769 m, the standard deviation is 2.72 × 10−4 m and, consequently, the
coefficient of variation is 0.98%. Again, as can be observed, the results obtained with the GA are
slightly higher than those with the BSA.
In addition, as in the first example, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method
in another way, the optimal solution is compared with a solution obtained by positioning the
dampers (with the same total friction force) in a different position from the optimized one, which,
for instance, distributes the dampers throughout the structure. In this context, Figure 12 shows a
comparison of the optimal solution obtained with the proposed method (run 1 of Table 5: friction
forces = 6548; 1296; 3353; 0; 0; 0; 0 N; and maximum displacement = 0.02711 m) with the
solution obtained having installed dampers with the same friction forces, but placed in different
positions from the optimal ones (friction forces = 0; 6548; 0; 1296; 0; 3353; 0 N; and maximum
displacement = 0.04612 m).
As can be seen in Figure 12, the maximum displacement obtained with dampers of the same
friction forces installed in random positions is 70.1% greater than the maximum displacement
obtained with the dampers in the optimum positions.
18 L.F.F. Miguel et al.

Horizontal Displacement at the Top (node 35) of the Tower


0.06
0 Dampers: zmax = 0.0596m
0.05 3 Dampers: zmax = 0.0271m
0.04
0.03
Displacement (m)

0.02
0.01
0
-0.01
-0.02
-0.03
-0.04
-0.05
-0.06
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0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Time (s)
Figure 11. Displacement at the top of the structure (node 35) for the transmission line tower, without friction dampers
(red curve) and optimum design, with three dampers (blue curve).

Table 7. Comparison of the performance of the proposed backtracking search optimization algorithm (BSA)
witha standard genetic algorithm (GA) for the transmission line tower.

Method )
Best position (vector P Best friction forces (F fn ) (N) Maximum displacement (zmax ) (m)

BSA [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6548; 1296; 3353 0.02711


GA [1 1 1 0 0 0 0] 6699; 1183; 3343 0.02741

Horizontal Displacement at the Top (node 35) of the Tower


0.05
Distributed Positions: zmax = 0.0461m
0.04 Optimized Positions: zmax = 0.0271m
0.03
0.02
Displacement (m)

0.01
0
-0.01
-0.02
-0.03
-0.04
-0.05
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Time (s)
Figure 12. Comparison of the proposed method with another way of positioning the dampers, for the case of the
transmission line tower.

5. Conclusions

It is known that the use of passive energy-dissipation devices in reducing vibrations caused by
earthquakes is effective. However, the optimal use of these devices is an area that needs further
study. Some research has been carried out on the optimization of TMD and viscous and viscoelas-
tic dampers in building structures; however, studies on the optimization of friction dampers are
Engineering Optimization 19

scarce and limited, mainly owing to the additional difficulties that systems with friction present.
Thus, optimal placement and force of friction dampers is of practical interest. The main con-
tribution presented here was the development of a methodology to simultaneously optimize the
location of friction dampers and their friction forces in structures subjected to seismic load-
ing. The resulting optimization problem is very complex, in that the objective function is not
convex and it includes both discrete and continuous variables, and therefore must be solved by
optimization methods capable of handling this type of problem.
Thus, a structural optimization design tool, based on the BSA, was proposed to determine the
optimal force and placement of friction dampers in structures under earthquake ground motions.
The proposed approach was used to calculate the optimal friction forces of a given maximum
number of friction dampers and their optimal locations in two different structures in order to
achieve a desired reduction level in the dynamic response. The response reduction performance
was expressed in terms of reduction of the maximum interstorey drift and of the maximum dis-
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placement of the structures; however, the proposed tool is flexible, allowing the user to change
the performance function.
To assess the effectiveness of the proposed method, numerical results were presented for a
six-storey shear building model and a transmission line tower. The results of both application
examples showed the capability of the proposed approach in solving the optimization problem,
reducing the maximum interstorey drift by more than 65% for the shear building and the max-
imum displacement by approximately 55% for the transmission tower, with only three friction
dampers. Furthermore, the results of 10 independent runs were very similar, i.e. the standard
deviation from the mean value was small, which shows that the proposed method is robust in
finding the optimal force and placement of friction dampers for vibration control. The compu-
tational cost is satisfactory for a dynamic problem. Therefore, the proposed methodology can
be recommended as an effective tool for the optimum design of friction dampers. This article
showed that the design of friction dampers can be achieved in a safe and economic way.

Acknowledgements
The authors acknowledge the financial support of CNPq and CAPES.

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