Structural Control: Benchmark Comparisons

Many algorithms and devices have been proposed for control of civil engineering structures, each with its own advantages, depending on the specific application and desired effect. Until recently, definitive studies demonstrating the pros and cons of the different approaches have been unavailable. Clearly, the ability to make direct comparisons between strategies employing various algorithms and devices is necessary to focus future efforts in the most promising directions and to effectively set performance goals and specifications. This page presents several benchmark studies intended to help move the structural control community another step toward the realization and implementation of innovative control strategies for dynamic hazard mitigation.



If problems arrise when attempting to utilize the MATLAB models found in this section, please refer to for the latest version of the benchmark software. If problems persist, please consider trying again with a earlier verison of MATLAB that supports .dll files.




Database for Structural Control and Monitoring Benchmark Problems

In addition to the benchmark problems listed below, NEES has compiled a broad database containing a large number of different benchmark problems proposed by the  structural control and monitoring communities. For more information on this database, please see this link.




First Generation Benchmark for Buildings

The ASCE Committee on Structural Control initiated a benchmark study in structural control, considering two benchmark structures, both scale models of a three-story building, employing

These structures were chosen because of the widespread interest in controllers and buildings of these types.

To achieve a high level of realism, evaluation models for these structural system, including the actuator and sensors, were developed directly from experimentally obtained data and form the basis for the benchmark study. In general, controllers that are successfully implemented on the evaluation model can be expected to perform similarly in the laboratory setting (verification of this expectation are in progress in our laboratory). Realistic control constraints and evaluation criteria are included in the benchmark problem definition.


Second Generation Benchmarks for Buildings

At the Second International Workshop on Structural Control (Dec. 18-20, 1996, Hong Kong), the Working Group on Building Control developed plans for the "second generation" benchmark studies to include not only competing control algorithms, but entire control strategies, including actuator devices, sensors, etc. Two benchmark problems for the control of buildings have been developed from this initiative and will be presented at the Second World Conference on Structural Control (Kyoto, Japan, June 28 - July 1, 1998).

To see a list of the papers and abstracts to be presented at the conference, please click here.


Third Generation Benchmarks for Buildings

At the First World Conference on Structural Control held in Pasadena, the necessity of taking into account the structural non-linearity was identified. During the 2nd World Conference on Structural Control, as a result of the success of the linear benchmark's presented, it was decided to pursue the nonlinear analysis for the seismically excited buildings. Also as a result of the success at the 2nd World Conference on Structural Control, a third generation wind-excited benchmark model was developed. Both benchmark models are listed here.


First Generation Benchmark for Bridges

At the Second International Workshop on Structural Control (Dec. 18-20, 1996, Hong Kong), the Working Group on Bridge Control developed plans for a "first generation" benchmark study on bridges. This problem focuses on seismic response control.


First Generation Benchmark for Base Isolated Buildings

The benchmark problem is for passive, active and semiactive control of seismically excited base-isolated buildings. The objective of this benchmark study is to provide a well defined base isolated building with a broad set of carefully chosen parameter sets, performance measures and guidelines to the participants, so that they can evaluate their control algorithms. The control algorithms may be passive, active or semi-active. The benchmark structure considered is an eight story base isolated building similar to existing buildings in Los Angeles, California. The base isolation system includes both linear and nonlinear bearings and control devices. The superstructure is considered to be a linear elastic system with lateral-torsional behavior. A new nonlinear dynamic analysis program has been developed and made available to facilitate direct comparison of results of different control algorithms.


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