Evaluation of genetic algorithms for the optimum distribution of viscous dampers in steel frames under strong earthquakes

  • Received : 2017.08.26
  • Accepted : 2018.02.10
  • Published : 2018.03.25


Supplemental passive control devices are widely considered as an important tool to mitigate the dynamic response of a building under seismic excitation. Nevertheless, a systematic method for strategically placing dampers in the buildings is not prescribed in building codes and guidelines. Many deterministic and stochastic methods have been proposed by previous researchers to investigate the optimum distribution of the viscous dampers in the steel frames. However, the seismic performances of the retrofitted buildings that are under large earthquake intensity levels or near collapse state have not been evaluated by any seismic research. Recent years, an increasing number of studies utilize genetic algorithms (GA) to explore the complex engineering optimization problems. GA interfaced with nonlinear response history (NRH) analysis is considered as one of the most powerful and popular stochastic methods to deal with the nonlinear optimization problem of damper distribution. In this paper, the effectiveness and the efficiency of GA on optimizing damper distribution are first evaluated by strong ground motions associated with the collapse failure. A practical optimization framework using GA and NRH analysis is proposed for optimizing the distribution of the fluid viscous dampers within the moment resisting frames (MRF) regarding the improvements of large drifts under intensive seismic context. Both a 10-storey and a 20-storey building are involved to explore higher mode effect. A far-fault and a near-fault earthquake environment are also considered for the frames under different seismic intensity levels. To evaluate the improvements obtained from the GA optimization regarding the collapse performance of the buildings, Incremental Dynamic Analysis (IDA) is conducted and comparisons are made between the GA damper distribution and stiffness proportional damping distribution on the collapse probability of the retrofitted frames.


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