Design spaces, measures and metrics for evaluating quality of time operators and consequences leading to improved algorithms by design - Illustration to structural dynamics

Xiangmin Zhou, Kumar K Tamma, D. Sha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


For the first time, for time discretized operators, we describe and articulate the importance and notion of design spaces and algorithmic measures that not only can provide new avenues for improved algorithms by design, but also can distinguish in general, the quality of computational algorithms for time-dependent problems; the particular emphasis is on structural dynamics applications for the purpose of illustration and demonstration of the basic concepts (the underlying concepts can be extended to other disciplines as well). For further developments in time discretized operators and/or for evaluating existing methods, from the established measures for computational algorithms, the conclusion that the most effective (in the sense of convergence, namely, the stability and accuracy, and complexity, namely, the algorithmic formulation and algorithmic structure) computational algorithm should appear in a certain algorithmic structure of the design space amongst comparable algorithms is drawn. With this conclusion, and also with the notion of providing new avenues leading to improved algorithms by design, as an illustration, a novel computational algorithm which departs from the traditional paradigm (in the sense of LMS methods with which we are mostly familiar with and widely used in commercial software) is particularly designed into the perspective design space representation of comparable algorithms, and is termed here as the forward displacement non-linearly explicit L-stable (FDEL) algorithm which is unconditionally consistent and does not require non-linear iterations within each time step. From the established measures for comparable algorithms, simply for illustration purposes, the resulting design of the FDEL formulation is then compared with the commonly advocated explicit central difference method and the implicit Newmark average acceleration method (alternately, the same conclusion holds true against controllable numerically dissipative algorithms) which pertain to the class of linear multi-step (LMS) methods for assessing both linear and non-linear dynamic cases. The conclusions that the proposed new design of the FDEL algorithm which is a direct consequence of the present notion of design spaces and measures, is the most effective algorithm to-date to our knowledge in comparison to the class of second-order accurate algorithms pertaining to LMS methods for routine and general non-linear dynamic situations is finally drawn through rigorous numerical experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1841-1870
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 14 2005


  • Computational algorithms by design
  • Design spaces and algorithmic measures
  • Structural dynamics
  • Time discretized operators


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