Design of steel frames using ant colony optimization


A design procedure utilizing an ant colony optimization (ACO) technique is developed for discrete optimization of steel frames. The objective function considered is the total weight (or cost) of the structure subjected to serviceability and strength requirements as specified by the American Institute for Steel Construction (AISC) Load and Resistance Factor Design, 2001. The design of steel frames is mapped into a modified traveling salesman problem (TSP) where the configuration of the TSP network reflects the structural topology, and the resulting length of the TSP tour corresponds to the weight of the frame. The number of potential paths between nodes in the TSP network represents all (or a portion) of the available W-shapes in the AISC database. The resulting frame, mapped into a TSP, is minimized using an ACO algorithm with a penalty function to enforce strength and serviceability constraints. A comparison is presented between the ACO frame designs and designs developed using a genetic algorithm and classical continuous optimization methods.

Publication Title

Journal of Structural Engineering