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Computers and Concrete
  Volume 13, Number 4, April 2014 , pages 457-482

Optimal design of reinforced concrete beams: A review
Ima Rahmanian, Yves Lucet and Solomon Tesfamariam

    This paper summarizes available literature on the optimization of reinforced concrete (RC) beams. The objective of optimization (e.g. minimum cost or weight), the design variables and the constraints considered by different studies vary widely and therefore, different optimization methods have been employed to provide the optimal design of RC beams, whether as isolated structural components or as part of a structural frame. The review of literature suggests that nonlinear deterministic approaches can be efficiently employed to provide optimal design of RC beams, given the small number of variables. This paper also presents spreadsheet implementation of cost optimization of RC beams in the familiar MS Excel environment to illustrate the efficiency of the exhaustive enumeration method for such small discrete search spaces and to promote its use by engineers and researchers. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis is performed on the contribution of various design parameters to the variability of the overall cost of RC beams.
Key Words
    reinforced concrete beam; optimization; discrete search space; exhaustive enumeration; genetic algorithm; spreadsheet implementation; sensitivity analysis
Ima Rahmanian and Solomon Tesfamariam: School of Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada

Yves Lucet: Computer Science, The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada

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