Structural system design is the process of giving form to a set of interconnected components subjected to loads and design constraints while navigating a complex design space. While safe designs are relatively easy to develop, optimal designs are not. Modern computational optimization approaches employ population based metaheuristic algorithms to overcome challenges with the system design optimization landscape. However, the choice of the initial population, or ground structure, can have an outsized impact on the resulting optimization. This paper presents a new method of generating such ground structures, using a combination of topology optimization (TO) and a novel system extraction algorithm. Since TO generates monolithic structures, rather than systems, its use for structural system design and optimization has been limited. In this paper, truss systems are extracted from topologies through morphological analysis and artificial intelligence techniques. This algorithm, and its assessment, constitutes the key contribution of this paper. The structural systems obtained are compared with ground truth solutions to evaluate the performance of the algorithms. The generated structures are also compared against benchmark designs from the literature. The results indicate that the presented truss generation algorithm produces structures comparable to those generated through metaheuristic optimization, while mitigating the need for assumptions about initial ground structures.
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