Learning to Simulate and Design for Structural Engineering

Jul 12, 2020

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In the architecture and construction industries, structural design for large buildings has always been laborious, time-consuming, and difficult to optimize. It is an iterative process that involves two steps: analyzing the current structural design by a slow and computationally expensive simulation, and then manually revising the design based on professional experience and rules. In this work, we propose an end-to-end learning pipeline to solve the size design optimization problem, which is to design the optimal cross-sections for columns and beams, given the design objectives and building code as constraints. We pre-train a graph neural network as a surrogate model to not only replace the structural simulation for speed but also use its differentiable nature to provide gradient signals to the other graph neural network for size optimization. Our results show that the pre-trained surrogate model can predict simulation results accurately, and the trained optimization model demonstrates the capability of designing convincing cross-section designs for buildings under various scenarios.

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About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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