Rationalization of Layout Optimization Result by Updating Discretization of the Design Domain

Qingpeng Li, Paul Shepherd, Matthew Gilbert, Linwei He

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Truss layout optimization provides a means of identifying the global optimal arrangement of truss bars capable of transmitting a given load or loads to defined support points within a defined design domain. However, the solutions obtained are generally complex and lead to structures with far too many members to be practical, especially when fine discretization of the design domain is employed. In this paper, a heuristic approach to the practical rationalization of optimal layouts is proposed, based on the observation that fan-like segments of bicycle-wheel structures often appear in multiple places in an optimal layout, with a central 'hub' joint of high valence linking through 'spokes' to a curved 'rim'. In this proposed method, the global optimum layout of a given problem is first obtained, and joints that are not used in the optimal truss are removed from the design domain. Subsequently, 'hub' joints of high valence are identified, as are the 'rim' joints they are connected to. A new discretization of the design domain is then produced, which reduces the density of joints in the curved 'rim'. A second layout optimization is then conducted to generate a more rational and buildable truss, with only a small increase in structural weight compared to the global optimal. Using two case-studies, the effectiveness and the efficiency of the proposed approach is validated.


ConferenceIASS Symposium 2019 - 60th Anniversary Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures; Structural Membranes 2019 - 9th International Conference on Textile Composites and Inflatable Structures, FORM and FORCE

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the EPSRC, under grants EP/N023269/1 and EP/N023471/1.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 by Ján BRODNIANSKY, Martin MAGURA, Prof. Ján BRODNIANSKY

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Design domain
  • Discretization
  • Layout optimization
  • Optimal layout
  • Rationalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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