More Than You or Eigen Chew

Software does exactly what you tell it to do. But problems arise when you don't know--or assume you know--what instructions you're giving. For example, many people like to use the 'fullGenLapack' eigenvalue solver in OpenSees because it will compute all N eigenpairs (eigenvalue with corresponding eigenvector) for a model whereas the default eigenvalue solver will … Continue reading More Than You or Eigen Chew

Much Ado About Damping

I do not remember why I was searching the internet for "damping" a couple weeks ago, but I came across this document on constructing a Rayleigh damping matrix, $latex {\bf C}=\alpha {\bf M}+\beta {\bf K}$. But instead of taking the usual approach of specifying damping ratios for exactly two frequencies of vibration, the document describes … Continue reading Much Ado About Damping

Interpolation of Ground Acceleration

There was a question on GitHub a few months about whether or not OpenSees uses linear interpolation when the analysis time step is smaller than the time step (digitization) of an input ground acceleration. This is a good question as I've used other software that does not interpolate and instead uses the acceleration of the … Continue reading Interpolation of Ground Acceleration

The Little IDA

In Fundamentals of Structural Mechanics, Hjelmstad solves a "little" one-dimensional Boundary Value Problem (BVP) for linear-elasticity before moving on to the three-dimensional BVP, which is full of mathematical difficulties. Hjelmstad's reasoning is sound. "Some of these difficulties are of great importance, while others are simply a nuisance. Reducing the issue to its simplest case helps … Continue reading The Little IDA

Multiple-Support Excitation

Structural systems typically have different ground accelerations at supports separated by long distances. These systems can be a single structure such as a long span bridge or multiple structures in a region. While most OpenSees analyses use uniform excitation with effective earthquake forces applied to the dynamic DOFs of the model, the framework also accommodates … Continue reading Multiple-Support Excitation

Absolutely, It’s Relative

One of the most frequently asked OpenSees questions is whether node recorders record absolute or relative displacement (relative to the ground) when a model is subjected to a uniform excitation. There's several approaches to find the answer to this question. One solution is to apply a simple uniform excitation--like a constant ground acceleration--to an SDF … Continue reading Absolutely, It’s Relative