Reliability-based structural design: a case of aircraft floor grid layout optimization
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In this thesis, several Reliability-based Design Optimization (RBDO) methods and algorithms for airplane floor grid layout optimization are proposed. A general RBDO process is proposed and validated by an example. Copula as a mathematical method to model random variable correlations is introduced to discover the correlations between random variables and to be applied in producing correlated data samples for Monte Carlo simulations. Based on Hasofer-Lind (HL) method, a correlated HL method is proposed to evaluate a reliability index under correlation. As an alternative method for computing a reliability index, the reliability index is interpreted as an optimization problem and two nonlinear programming algorithms are introduced to evaluate reliability index. To evaluate the reliability index by Monte Carlo simulation in a time efficient way, a kriging-based surrogate model is proposed and compared to the original model in terms of computing time. Since in RBDO optimization models the reliability constraint obtained by MCS does not have an analytical form, a kriging-based response surface is built. Kriging-based response surface models are usually segment functions that do not have a uniform expression over the design space; however, most optimization algorithms require a uniform expression for constraints. To solve this problem, a heuristic gradient-based direct searching algorithm is proposed. These methods and algorithms, together with the RBDO general process, are applied to the layout optimization of aircraft floor grid structural design.