# Sometimes Tags Don’t Matter

When building a model in OpenSees, you have to ensure that you have unique tags for your domain components (nodes, elements, patterns, time series, parameters, etc.), reliability components (random variables, limit state functions, etc.), and model building components (materials, sections, beam integrations, etc.). If you define a duplicate tag, you will get an error message. … Continue reading Sometimes Tags Don’t Matter

# How to Profile OpenSees

Where does the time in a nonlinear finite element analysis go? For large models, solving equations dominates the analysis time, while for small to moderate models, constitutive models (state determination) dominate. It is impossible to know the relative cost of state determination and solving equations prior to an analysis. Profiling tools can tell you after … Continue reading How to Profile OpenSees

# Don’t Invert the Matrix

A common issue with linear algebra textbooks is the depiction of $latex {\bf x}={\bf A}^{-1}{\bf b}$ as the solution to the linear system of equations $latex {\bf A}{\bf x}={\bf b}$. Find the inverse of the matrix $latex {\bf A}$, then multiply that inverse with the right-hand side vector, $latex {\bf b}$. Theoretically correct? Yes. Practical? … Continue reading Don’t Invert the Matrix

# Single Quotes or Double?

Python, like many other languages, uses single (') and double quotes (") for multi-character strings. This was a bit for me to digest coming from the C++ world where single and double quotes have distinct uses: single quotes for a character and double quotes for strings. Functionally, there's no difference between single and double quotes … Continue reading Single Quotes or Double?

# Stop Hogging All the RAM

While writing a previous post on elastic shear beams available in OpenSees, I noticed that the ElasticTimoshenkoBeam3d class stores the element stiffness matrix, along with several other matrices, as private data. As a result, each instance of this class keeps its own copy of several 12x12 matrices for the element response instead of writing to … Continue reading Stop Hogging All the RAM

# OpenSeesPy List Comprehensions

OpenSees was always meant to be an API and you can use various helper functions like ops.eleResponse() and ops.nodeDisp() to get selected response quantities. You will find, however, that the values returned by these commands are not always congruent with what you want. In many cases, Python list comprehensions give an easy one-liner for morphing … Continue reading OpenSeesPy List Comprehensions

# OpenSees to JSON

The plain text JSON format is widely used for moving information to and from back end servers in web applications. So I've been learning how to work with JSON for OpenSees Cloud and a couple other projects. JSON is nothing new in the OpenSees universe. Some element and material classes write key-value pairs when the … Continue reading OpenSees to JSON

# Unrolling the Four Node Quad

The FourNodeQuad was one of the first, if not the first, solid elements in OpenSees. Despite the element's mediocre implementation, the coding style was copied by others into subsequent solid element implementations. Fortunately, before that copying happened, I revised the implementation to be more computationally efficient--and I was kind enough to leave the original author's … Continue reading Unrolling the Four Node Quad