Finding minimum energy configurations for constrained beam buckling problems using the Viterbi algorithm Academic Article uri icon


  • In this work, we present a novel technique to find approximate minimum energy configurations for thin elastic bodies using an instance of dynamic programming called the Viterbi algorithm. This method can be used to find approximate solutions for large deformation constrained buckling problems as well as problems where the strain energy function is non-convex. The approach does not require any gradient computations and could be considered a direct search method. The key idea is to consider a discretized version of the set of all possible configurations and use a computationally efficient search technique to find the minimum energy configuration. We illustrate the application of this method to a laterally constrained beam buckling problem where the presence of unilateral constraints together with the non-convexity of the energy function poses challenges for conventional schemes. The method can also be used as a means for generating "very good" starting points for other conventional gradient search algorithms. These uses, along with comparisons with a direct application of a gradient search and simulated annealing, are demonstrated in this work. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Solids and Structures

author list (cited authors)

  • Doraiswamy, S., Narayanan, K. R., & Srinivasa, A. R.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Doraiswamy, Srikrishna||Narayanan, Krishna R||Srinivasa, Arun R

publication date

  • January 2012