Constraint Control Method of Optimization and its Application to Design of Steel Frames

Document Type: Article


1 Department of Civil Engineering, Science and Research branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of Civil Engineering, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran



Different optimization methods are available for optimum design of structures including; classical optimization techniques and meta-heuristic optimization algorithms. However, engineers do not generally use optimization techniques to design a structure. They attempt to decrease the structural weight and increase its performance and efficiency, empirically, by changing the variables and controlling the constraints. Based on this professional engineering design philosophy, in this paper, a simple algorithm, termed the Constraint Control Method (CCM), is developed and presented whereby optimum design is achieved gradually by controlling the problem constraints. Starting with oversized sections, the design is gradually improved by changing sections based on a ‘control function’ and controlling the constraints to be below the target values. As the constraints move towards their targets, the design moves towards an optimum. The general functionality of the proposed algorithm is first demonstrated by solving several linear and nonlinear mathematical problems which have exact answers. The performance of the algorithm is then evaluated through comparing design optimization results of three, 2D steel frame benchmark problems with those from other, metaheuristic optimization solutions. the proposed method leads to the minimum structural weight while performing much smaller number of structural analyses, compared to other optimization methods.