Dimensional analysis of structural steel beam design.
Elizondo, Michael A.
Bhargava, Hemant K.
Bradley, Gordon H.
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This thesis examines the representation of dimensional units as prime numbers to perform dimensional analysis within a computer-based model management system. A computer program applies this concept to simple span structural steel beam design, an engineering stress and strain problem. Most common applications of computers manipulate only the numeric value of the measure of physical objects. The user manually ensures that data is processed according to the meaning of its units. Prime-encoding of dimensional units in this application provides a numeric method of validating dimensional consistency in mathematical expressions for use on a computer. This study is implemented in TEFA, a computer-based modeling system with an embedded Prolog programming language. The beam design application demonstrates that model representation using prime-encoding of dimensional units simplifies the overhead required in data manipulation, and helps maintain meaningful results in the numerical processing of data.
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