March 4th, 2018
An Open Framework for Integrated Multi-platform Simulations for Structural Resilience
The performance assessment of civil infrastructure, such as buildings, bridges, subway tunnels, power plants, etc., under extreme loading conditions still represents a formidable challenge for engineers worldwide.
With the current levels of modelling technologies and computing power, increasingly complex and realistic models of structures are being developed and refined, primarily in single modelling packages. Yet, the scientific and engineering community has not yet achieved complete models that can capture the entire response of complex structural systems in order to fully assess their performance under extreme loading conditions. Multiple challenges still remain as most complex systems incorporate very different components, each requiring a level of specialized modelling sophistication or even in some cases complete physical testing in order to capture the behaviour of the integrated system to multiple hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, blasts, fire, floods and many others.
The UT-SIM initiative is aimed at enhancing our ability to understand the performance of civil infrastructure when it is subjected to natural and man-made hazards in order to enhance the resilience of Canadian and worldwide societies.
The UT-SIM Initiative
The University of Toronto has a long standing tradition of developing cutting edge advanced numerical models for reinforced concrete structures, carrying large-scale experiments, developing new high-performance resilient structural systems, and is now one of the leading hubs on advanced hybrid simulation methods. Our group is now trying to integrate all of these capabilities to develop a next generation simulation platform that will achieve new levels of accuracy and reliability for the modelling of complex structural systems. This will contribute to the worldwide research effort of not only better understanding the expected response of critical infrastructure under extreme loading conditions for better disaster planning or disaster mitigation but also to form the basis for accelerating the development and implementation of more resilient structural systems that will better protect our infrastructure.
The proposed UT-SIM structural simulation method is an open concept that is available to the entire research community in order to foster collaboration between institutions towards developing the next generation of numerical and hybrid numerical-physical simulation strategies.
We invite you to contribute to the framework by adopting the UT-SIM communication library, which will allow seamless integration of your models or laboratory specimens with any other integration modules in the framework and enhancing it with your own research developments and applications. Your contributions will greatly improve the interoperability of specialized computer programs, and improve the accuracy of structural performance assessment.
The University of Toronto's Simulation (UT-SIM) Framework has been developed to achieve the following objectives;
To facilitate the implementation of this approach, the communication library and source code is released to the public domain such that any institution can easily integrate their own software or laboratory to an integrated simulation. Furthermore, we have also developed the Network Interface for Console Application (NICA) and the Network Interface for Controllers (NICON) which are used to integrate various software and actuator controllers.
The open-source approach for integration of diverse numerical models and experimental specimens will greatly improve partnerships among institutions in Canada and abroad.
How to Join...
The UT-SIM framework is intended to foster collaboration in advanced simulation through integration of various numerical models and physical specimens. To this end, we share our own developments which can facilitate integration of models. There are already eleven collaborators worldwide. Collaborators have open access the current capabilities and are also invited to participate in developing additional capabilities. When possible, we encourage collaborators to share their own methods of model integration using the UT-SIM framework such that other collaborators can benefit from each other.