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Report on the Nonlinear Full Scale Building Control Problem

By Shirley Dyke

Purdue University

Published on


This report presents the extended problem definition of a set of benchmark control problems for seismically excited nonlinear buildings. Focusing on three typical steel structures, 3-, 9- and 20-story buildings designed for the SAC project for the Los Angeles, California region, the goal of this study is to provide a clear basis to evaluate the efficacy of various structural control strategies. A nonlinear evaluation model has been developed that portrays the salient features of the structural system. Evaluation criteria and control constraints are presented for the design problems. The task of each participant in this benchmark study is to define (including sensors and control algorithms), evaluate and report on their proposed control strategies. These strategies may be either passive, active, semi-active or a combination thereof. The benchmark control problems will then facilitate direct comparison of the relative merits of the various control strategies. To illustrate some of the design challenges, a sample control strategy employing active control with a linear quadratic Gaussian (LQG) control algorithm is applied to the 20-story structure.


The authors gratefully acknowledge the partial support of this research by the National Science Foundation under grants No. CMS 95-00301 and CMS 95-28083 (Dr. S. C. Liu, Program Director) and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry in Japan. The authors would also like to acknowledge the generous efforts of Prof. Erik A. Johnson, University of Southern California Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in editing and providing detailed comments on this paper and the corresponding MATLAB programs.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Y. Ohtori, R.E. Christenson, B.F. Spencer, Jr., and S.J. Dyke, 'Benchmark Control Problems for Seismically Excited Nonlinear Buildings'; Journal of Engineering Mechanics: Special Issue on Benchmark Control Problems, Vol. 130, N. 4, pp. 386-385, 2004.

  • Shirley Dyke (2011), "Report on the Nonlinear Full Scale Building Control Problem,"

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