Research Article Open Access

Heuristic Algorithm in Optimal Discrete Structural Designs

Alongkorn Lamom, Thaksin Thepchatri and Wanchai Rivepiboon


This study proposes a Heuristic Algorithm for Material Size Selection (HAMSS). It is developed to handle discrete structural optimization problems. The proposed algorithm (HAMSS), Simulated Annealing Algorithm (SA) and the conventional design algorithm obtained from a structural steel design software are studied with three selected examples. The HAMSS, in fact, is the adaptation from the traditional SA. Although the SA is one of the easiest optimization algorithms available, a huge number of function evaluations deter its use in structural optimizations. To obtain the optimum answers by the SA, possible answers are first generated randomly. Many of these possible answers are rejected because they do not pass the constraints. To effectively handle this problem, the behavior of optimal structural design problems is incorporated into the algorithm. The new proposed algorithm is called the HAMSS. The efficiency comparison between the SA and the HAMSS is illustrated in term of number of finite element analysis cycles. Results from the study show that HAMSS can significantly reduce the number of structural analysis cycles while the optimized efficiency is not different.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 5 No. 8, 2008, 943-951


Submitted On: 8 October 2007 Published On: 31 August 2008

How to Cite: Lamom, A., Thepchatri, T. & Rivepiboon, W. (2008). Heuristic Algorithm in Optimal Discrete Structural Designs. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 5(8), 943-951.

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  • Heuristic algorithm
  • steel design
  • optimization algorithm