Heuristic Methods in Discrete Structural Optimization

  • A. B. Templeman
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 373)


This Chapter describes some of the heuristic methods which have been developed for the optimum design of engineering structures using only components which are available in discrete sizes. As a vehicle for describing the methods the optimum design of trusses using rolled steel sections is used. The combinatorial nature of the problem is first briefly described and the necessity for heuristic methods for finding non-rigorous but very close discrete optimum designs are discussed. An investigation of the practical needs of structural designers rather than the capabilities of numerical algorithms demonstrates that the nature of the discrete design problem in practice is very different from that perceived by many researchers. The standardization problem, which is closely related to discrete optimum design, is described and discussed. The Chapter also examines heuristic methods such as the rounding of continuous optimum designs to a discrete solution and describes the linear segmental approach to discrete optimum design.


Optimum Design Heuristic Method Plate Element Member Size Discrete Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Garfinkel, R. and G. Nemhauser: Integer Programming, Wiley, New York, 1972.MATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yates, D.F., Templeman, A.B. and T.B. Boffey: The complexity of procedures for determining minimum weight trusses with discrete member sizes, Int. J Solids and Structures, 18 (1982), 487–495.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ringertz, U.T.: On methods for discrete structural optimization, Engineering Optimization, 13 (1988), 47–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schmit, L.A. and C. Fleury: Discrete-continuous variable structural synthesis using dual methods, AIAA Journal, 18 (1980), 1515–1524.MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Templeman, A.B.: Discrete optimum structural design, Computers and Structures, 30 (1988), 511–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Templeman, A.B. and D.F. Yates: A segmental method for the discrete optimum design of structures, Engineering Optimization, 6 (1983), 145–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schmit, L.A. and B. Farshi: Some approximation concepts for structural synthesis, AIAA Journal, 12 (1974), 692–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Duan, M.Z.: An improved Templeman’s algorithm for the optimum design of trusses with discrete member sizes, Engineering Optimization, 9 (1986), 303–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Reitman, M.I. and G.S. Shapiro: Methods for the optimal structural design of deformable bodies, Nauka, Moscow, 1976 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reitman, M.I. and W.B. Hall: Optimal structural standardization, Engineering Optimization, 16 (1990), 109–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. B. Templeman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations