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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 16, Number 2, August 2003 , pages 219-240

More reliable responses for time integration analyses
A. Soroushian and J. Farjoodi

    One of the most versatile approaches for analyzing the dynamic behavior of structural systems is direct time integration of semi-discrete equations of motion. However responses computed by time integration are generally inexact and hence the corresponding errors would rather be studied in advance. In spite of the various error estimation formulations that exist in the literature, it is accepted practice to repeat the analyses with smaller time steps, followed by a comparison between the results. In this paper, after a review of this simple method and disregarding the round-off errors, a more efficient, reliable and yet simple method for estimating errors and enhancing the accuracy is proposed. The main objectives of this research are more realistic error estimation based on the concept of convergence, approximately controlling the reliability by comparing the actual rate of convergence with the integration method\'s order of accuracy, and enhancement of reliability by applying Richardson\'s extrapolation. Starting from the errors at specific time instants, the study is then generalized to cases in which the errors should be estimated and decreased at specific events e.g. peak responses. Numerical study illustrates the efficacy of the proposed method.
Key Words
    direct time integration; error estimation; reliable responses; rate of convergence; Richardson\'s extrapolation; round-off error; computational cost.
Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran 11365, Iran

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