PurposeReliability-based design optimizations (RBDOs) of engineering structures involve complex non-linear/non-differentiable performance functions, including both continuous and discrete variables. The gradient-based RBDO algorithms are less than satisfactory for these cases. The simulation-based approaches could also be computationally inefficient, especially when the double-loop strategy is used. This paper aims to present a pseudo-double loop flexible RBDO, which is efficient for solving problems, including both discrete/continuous variables.Design/methodology/approachThe method is based on the hybrid improved binary bat algorithm (BBA) and weighed simulation method (WSM). According to this method, each BBA’s movement generates proper candidate solutions, and subsequently, WSM evaluates the reliability levels for design candidates to conduct swarm in a low-cost safe-region.FindingsThe accuracy of the proposed enhanced BBA and also the hybrid WSM-BBA are examined for ten benchmark deterministic optimizations and also four RBDO problems of truss structures, respectively. The solved examples reveal computational efficiency and superiority of the method to conventional RBDO approaches for solving complex problems including discrete variables.Originality/valueUnlike other RBDO approaches, the proposed method is such organized that only one simulation run suffices during the optimization process. The flexibility future of the proposed RBDO framework enables a designer to present multi-level design solutions for different arrangements of the problem by using the results of the only one simulation for WSM, which is very helpful to decrease computational burden of the RBDO. In addition, a new suitable transfer function that enhanced convergence rate and search ability of the original BBA is introduced.
Engineering Computations – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 16, 2018
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