A new methodology for performance-based optimal seismic retrofitting using a limited number of size groups of viscous dampers is presented. The damping coefficient of each size group of dampers is taken as a continuous variable and is determined by the optimization algorithm. Furthermore, for each potential location, a damper of a single size group is optimally assigned, if any. Hence, the formulation presents a large step forward towards practical optimal design of dampers. The key for achieving an efficient optimization scheme is the incorporation of material interpolation techniques that were successfully applied in other structural optimization problems of discrete nature. This results in a very effective optimization methodology that is expected to be very efficient for large-scale structures. The proposed approach is demonstrated on several example problems of 3D irregular frame structures. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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