Fail‐safe optimization of viscous dampers for seismic retrofitting

Nicolo Pollini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper presents a new optimization approach for designing minimum-cost fail-safe distributions of fluid viscous dampers for seismic retrofitting. Failure is modeled as either complete damage of the dampers or partial degradation of the dampers' properties. In general, this leads to optimization problems with large number of constraints. Thus, the use of a working-set optimization algorithm is proposed. The main idea is to solve a sequence of relaxed optimization sub-problems with a small sub-set of all constraints. The algorithm terminates once a solution of a sub-problem is found that satisfies all the constraints of the problem. The retrofitting cost is minimized with constraints on the inter-story drifts at the peripheries of frame structures. The structures considered are subjected to a realistic ensemble of ground motions, and their response is evaluated with time-history analyses. The transient optimization problem is efficiently solved with a gradient-based sequential linear programming algorithm. The gradients of the response functions are calculated with a consistent adjoint sensitivity analysis procedure. Promising results attained for 3-D irregular frames are presented and discussed. The numerical results highlight the fact that the optimized layout and size of the dampers can change significantly even for moderate levels of damage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Number of pages20
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Adjoint sensitivity analysis
  • Fail-safe design
  • Passive control
  • Seismic retrofitting
  • Transient optimization
  • Viscous dampers

Cite this