Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) trained using backpropagation (BP) algorithm are commonly used for modeling material behavior associated with non-linear, complex or unknown interactions among the material constituents. Despite multidisciplinary applications of back-propagation neural networks (BPNN), the BP algorithm possesses the inherent drawback of getting trapped in local minima and slowly converging to a global optimum. The paper present a hybrid artificial neural networks and genetic algorithm approach for modeling slump of ready mix concrete based on its design mix constituents. Genetic algorithms (GA) global search is employed for evolving the initial weights and biases for training of neural networks, which are further fine tuned using the BP algorithm. The study showed that, hybrid ANN-GA model provided consistent predictions in comparison to commonly used BPNN model. In comparison to BPNN model, the hybrid ANNGA model was able to reach the desired performance goal quickly. Apart from the modeling slump of ready mix concrete, the synaptic weights of neural networks were harnessed for analyzing the relative importance of concrete design mix constituents on the slump value. The sand and water constituents of the concrete design mix were found to exhibit maximum importance on the concrete slump value.
Open ground storey with floating columns is a typical feature in the modern multistory constructions in urban India. Such features are very much undesirable in buildings built in seismically active areas. The present study proposes a feasible solution to mitigate the effects caused due to non-uniformity of stiffness and discontinuity in load path and to simultaneously hold the functional use of the open storey particularly under the floating column, through a combination of various lateral strengthening systems. An investigation is performed on an example building with nine different analytical models to bring out the importance of recognising the presence of open ground storey and floating columns. Two separate analyses on various models of the building namely, the equivalent static analysis and the response spectrum analysis as per IS: 1893-2002 were performed. Various measures such as incorporation of Chevron bracings and shear walls, strengthening the columns in the open ground storey, and their different combinations were examined. The analysis shows that, in comparison to two short ones separated by interconnecting beams, the structural walls are most effective when placed at the periphery of the buildings and used as one long structural wall. Further, it can be shown that the force transfer from floating columns becomes less horizontal when the Chevron Bracings are placed just below them, thereby reducing the shear forces in the beams on which the floating column rests.