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research-article

Heavy-tailed response of structural systems subjected to stochastic excitation containing extreme forcing events

[+] Author and Article Information
Han Kyul Joo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139
tuokii@gmail.com

Mustafa Mohamad

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139
mmohamad@MIT.EDU

Themistoklis Sapsis

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139
sapsis@mit.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039309 History: Received August 17, 2017; Revised February 02, 2018

Abstract

We characterize the complex, heavy-tailed probability distribution functions (pdf) describing the response and its local extrema for structural systems subjected to random forcing that includes extreme events. Our approach is based on the recent probabilistic decomposition-synthesis technique, where we decouple rare events regimes from the background fluctuations. The result of the analysis has the form of a semi-analytical approximation formula for the pdf of the response (displacement, velocity, and acceleration) and the pdf of the local extrema. For special limiting cases (lightly damped or heavily damped systems) our analysis provides fully analytical approximations. We also demonstrate how the method can be applied to high dimensional structural systems through a two-degrees-of-freedom structural system undergoing rare events due to intermittent forcing. The derived formulas can be evaluated with very small computational cost and are shown to accurately capture the complicated heavy-tailed and asymmetrical features in the probability distribution many standard deviations away from the mean, through comparisons with expensive Monte-Carlo simulations.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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