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A practical method for the optimal design of continuous footing using ant-colony optimization

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to present a practical method for the optimal design of a continuous footing subjected to vertical and horizontal loads. The design problem of finding the optimal size of footing as well as the minimum steel reinforcement is formulated in a nonlinear minimization form. The continuous footing is subjected to the vertical and horizontal loads acting on the top of the column. There are four design variables in the design problem, i.e., the width of the footing, the thickness of the footing, the soil-embedment depth, and the amount of steel reinforcement. The required geotechnical constraints include the bearing capacity, overturning, as well as global sliding and local sliding at the footing corners. Short-term stability and long-term stability are considered simultaneously in the same formulation. The structural constraints are enforced to control the shear force and bending moment within the section resistance. The formulation of the problem’s constraints leads to the nonlinear programming, whose objective function is to minimize the total cost of the footing material, including the concrete and steel reinforcement. The optimal solution is solved using the ant-colony optimization algorithm MIDACO. The proposed optimization method is demonstrated through the actual design of the footing for supporting a large machine moving on rails.

Keywords

optimal design; footing; stability; nonlinear programming; ant-colony optimization