In this study, a model reduction technique based on a high-dimensional model representation (HDMR) approach was investigated and applied to design optimization of building structures. Those structures have long been designed using engineering intuition and an iterative trial-and-error method. In order to evaluate structural responses, a finite element (FE) analysis code is generally required. Gradient-based numerical algorithms and evolutionary algorithms are widely available and can be adopted to the design optimization of structures. An alternative category of optimization methods relies on approximate objective or constraint functions that can be created using various interpolation or regression techniques. In this work, the model reduction was achieved using augmented radial basis functions (RBFs) as component functions of HDMR. After sample points were generated along each variable axis, detailed FE analyses were conducted to evaluate building responses, which were used for constructing RBF-HDMR models of structural responses. The optimization was performed using a standard gradient-based numerical method. The accuracy of the RBF-HDMR could be improved if the optimal design point was added as an additional sample point. One advantage of the proposed optimization approach was that the interface programming with any existing FE code was not necessary. To illustrative the application of the method, a high-rise building was studied and optimized in order to reduce the building’s global torsional responses. The proposed optimization method worked well for the example.
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