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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 10, Number 2, August 2000, pages 181-195

Collapse behaviour of three-dimensional brick-block systems using non-linear programming
C Baggio and P Trovalusci

    A two-step procedure for the application of non linear constrained programming to the limit analysis of rigid brick-block systems with no-tension and frictional interface is implemented and applied to various masonry structures. In the first step, a linear problem of programming, obtained by applying the upper bound theorem of limit analysis to systems of blocks interacting through no-tension and dilatant interfaces, is solved. The solution of this linear program is then employed as initial guess for a non linear and non convex problem of programming, obtained applying both the \'mechanism\' and the \'equilibrium\' approaches to the same block system with no-tension and frictional interfaces. The optimiser used is based on the sequential quadratic programming. The gradients of the constraints required are provided directly in symbolic form. Ln this way the program easily converges to the optimal solution even for systems with many degrees of freedom. Various numerical analyses showed that the procedure allows a reliable investigation of the ultimate behaviour of jointed structures, such as stone masonry structures, under statical load conditions.
Key Words
    limit analysis, mathematical programming, masonry
C Baggio: Univ Roma Tre, Dipartimento Progettaz & Sci Architettura, I-4000184 Rome, Italy
P Trovalusci: Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica, Universita di Roma \"La Sapienza\", Via A. Gramsci, 53-00197 Roma, Italy

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