An Expert System Finite Element Modeler
Finite element modeling is a critical step in the process of structural analysis. It can be a time consuming and costly process as well as a potential source of error. A rule-based expert system is proposed as a tool to be used by the structural analyst in creating the finite element model. Given the structural geometry, material properties, loadings, boundary conditions, and pre-specified maximum allowable error and/or number of degrees of freedom, the system will decide on an optimal discretization for the finite element model. An empirical data base of case studies for standard subregions subjected to standard loadings and boundary conditions will be accessed during the decision making process. The job of interfacing the different standard subregions will be handled by heuristic rules. In this way we can combine heuristic reasoning with an empirical data base to achieve an accurate estimate for an optimal finite element mesh. This method differs from the adaptive methods in that we obtain our mesh a priori, before solving our system of equations.
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