A method for bounding imprecise probabilistic criteria when using a sequential decision process for the design of structural systems

Jaskanwal P.S. Chhabra, Gordon Patrick Warn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Uncertainty is an integral part of decision making in engineering design. Ideally, when designing structural systems for wind, seismic and other types of hazards, multiple design candidates are compared with respect to uncertain decision criteria in order to identify the optimal, or non-dominated, designs. However, when the decision criteria are obtained from a computationally intensive numerical analysis, e.g., using the performance based earthquake engineering framework for the seismic design of buildings, it might not be feasible to derive precise distributions of the decision criteria for a large number of design alternatives. This work is motivated by the desire to efficiently explore large sets of design alternatives when the decision criteria are probabilistic and computationally intensive to generate. It is hypothesized that the availability of precise distributions of decision criteria for all designs under consideration is not necessary at all points in time during the design process, and appropriate decisions can be made on the basis of imprecise distributions of decision criteria by using confidence intervals to bound their imprecision. To that end, a sequential decision process employing mean-risk analysis and stochastic dominance rules is presented where models of increasing fidelity are used in a sequence to discriminate the dominated designs from the design space on the basis of imprecise distributions of decision criteria. The modeling fidelity is sequentially increased while decreasing imprecision in the decision criteria thus revealing more dominated design solutions. The utility of the methodology is demonstrated through two design examples: (1) a multi-objective discrete choice problem of designing a two bar truss with uncertainty in the material properties and geometric configuration, and (2) the design of a structural frame where the performance is evaluated on the basis of estimated uncertain seismic losses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalStructural Safety
Volume79
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Fingerprint

Structural frames
Seismic design
Risk analysis
Numerical analysis
Materials properties
Hazards
Decision making
Availability
Uncertainty
Earthquake engineering

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

Cite this

@article{47b45fe457cd4f6382c2fe7ec5fb38b3,
title = "A method for bounding imprecise probabilistic criteria when using a sequential decision process for the design of structural systems",
abstract = "Uncertainty is an integral part of decision making in engineering design. Ideally, when designing structural systems for wind, seismic and other types of hazards, multiple design candidates are compared with respect to uncertain decision criteria in order to identify the optimal, or non-dominated, designs. However, when the decision criteria are obtained from a computationally intensive numerical analysis, e.g., using the performance based earthquake engineering framework for the seismic design of buildings, it might not be feasible to derive precise distributions of the decision criteria for a large number of design alternatives. This work is motivated by the desire to efficiently explore large sets of design alternatives when the decision criteria are probabilistic and computationally intensive to generate. It is hypothesized that the availability of precise distributions of decision criteria for all designs under consideration is not necessary at all points in time during the design process, and appropriate decisions can be made on the basis of imprecise distributions of decision criteria by using confidence intervals to bound their imprecision. To that end, a sequential decision process employing mean-risk analysis and stochastic dominance rules is presented where models of increasing fidelity are used in a sequence to discriminate the dominated designs from the design space on the basis of imprecise distributions of decision criteria. The modeling fidelity is sequentially increased while decreasing imprecision in the decision criteria thus revealing more dominated design solutions. The utility of the methodology is demonstrated through two design examples: (1) a multi-objective discrete choice problem of designing a two bar truss with uncertainty in the material properties and geometric configuration, and (2) the design of a structural frame where the performance is evaluated on the basis of estimated uncertain seismic losses.",
author = "Chhabra, {Jaskanwal P.S.} and Warn, {Gordon Patrick}",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.strusafe.2019.02.004",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "79",
pages = "39--53",
journal = "Structural Safety",
issn = "0167-4730",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

A method for bounding imprecise probabilistic criteria when using a sequential decision process for the design of structural systems. / Chhabra, Jaskanwal P.S.; Warn, Gordon Patrick.

In: Structural Safety, Vol. 79, 01.07.2019, p. 39-53.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A method for bounding imprecise probabilistic criteria when using a sequential decision process for the design of structural systems

AU - Chhabra, Jaskanwal P.S.

AU - Warn, Gordon Patrick

PY - 2019/7/1

Y1 - 2019/7/1

N2 - Uncertainty is an integral part of decision making in engineering design. Ideally, when designing structural systems for wind, seismic and other types of hazards, multiple design candidates are compared with respect to uncertain decision criteria in order to identify the optimal, or non-dominated, designs. However, when the decision criteria are obtained from a computationally intensive numerical analysis, e.g., using the performance based earthquake engineering framework for the seismic design of buildings, it might not be feasible to derive precise distributions of the decision criteria for a large number of design alternatives. This work is motivated by the desire to efficiently explore large sets of design alternatives when the decision criteria are probabilistic and computationally intensive to generate. It is hypothesized that the availability of precise distributions of decision criteria for all designs under consideration is not necessary at all points in time during the design process, and appropriate decisions can be made on the basis of imprecise distributions of decision criteria by using confidence intervals to bound their imprecision. To that end, a sequential decision process employing mean-risk analysis and stochastic dominance rules is presented where models of increasing fidelity are used in a sequence to discriminate the dominated designs from the design space on the basis of imprecise distributions of decision criteria. The modeling fidelity is sequentially increased while decreasing imprecision in the decision criteria thus revealing more dominated design solutions. The utility of the methodology is demonstrated through two design examples: (1) a multi-objective discrete choice problem of designing a two bar truss with uncertainty in the material properties and geometric configuration, and (2) the design of a structural frame where the performance is evaluated on the basis of estimated uncertain seismic losses.

AB - Uncertainty is an integral part of decision making in engineering design. Ideally, when designing structural systems for wind, seismic and other types of hazards, multiple design candidates are compared with respect to uncertain decision criteria in order to identify the optimal, or non-dominated, designs. However, when the decision criteria are obtained from a computationally intensive numerical analysis, e.g., using the performance based earthquake engineering framework for the seismic design of buildings, it might not be feasible to derive precise distributions of the decision criteria for a large number of design alternatives. This work is motivated by the desire to efficiently explore large sets of design alternatives when the decision criteria are probabilistic and computationally intensive to generate. It is hypothesized that the availability of precise distributions of decision criteria for all designs under consideration is not necessary at all points in time during the design process, and appropriate decisions can be made on the basis of imprecise distributions of decision criteria by using confidence intervals to bound their imprecision. To that end, a sequential decision process employing mean-risk analysis and stochastic dominance rules is presented where models of increasing fidelity are used in a sequence to discriminate the dominated designs from the design space on the basis of imprecise distributions of decision criteria. The modeling fidelity is sequentially increased while decreasing imprecision in the decision criteria thus revealing more dominated design solutions. The utility of the methodology is demonstrated through two design examples: (1) a multi-objective discrete choice problem of designing a two bar truss with uncertainty in the material properties and geometric configuration, and (2) the design of a structural frame where the performance is evaluated on the basis of estimated uncertain seismic losses.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85062419017&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85062419017&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.strusafe.2019.02.004

DO - 10.1016/j.strusafe.2019.02.004

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85062419017

VL - 79

SP - 39

EP - 53

JO - Structural Safety

JF - Structural Safety

SN - 0167-4730

ER -