Abstract

Reliability-Based Design Optimization (RBDO) involves evaluation of probabilistic constraints, which can be done in two different ways, the Reliability Index Approach (RIA) and the Performance Measure Approach (PMA). It has been reported in the literature that RIA yields instability for some problems but PMA is robust and efficient in identifying a probabilistic failure mode in the RBDO process. However, several examples of numerical tests of PMA have also shown instability and inefficiency in the RBDO process if the Advanced Mean Value (AMV) method, which is a numerical tool for probabilistic constraint evaluation in PMA, is used, since it behaves poorly for a concave performance function, even though it is effective for a convex performance function.

To overcome difficulties of the AMV method, the Conjugate Mean Value (CMV) method is proposed in this paper for the concave performance function in PMA. However, since the CMV method exhibits the slow rate of convergence for the convex function, it is selectively used for concave-type constraints. That is, once the type of the performance function is identified, either the AMV method or the CMV method can be adaptively used for PMA during the RBDO iteration to evaluate probabilistic constraints effectively. This is referred to as the Hybrid Mean Value (HMV) method.

The enhanced PMA with the HMV method is compared to RIA for effective evaluation of probabilistic constraints in the RBDO process. It is shown that PMA with a spherical equality constraint is easier to solve than RIA with a complicated equality constraint in estimating the probabilistic constraint in the RBDO process.

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