Computational Mechanics and Design Group

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

Yield-line analysis of slabs using discontinuity layout optimization

Yield-line pattern


One of the oldest and most fundamental problems in the field of engineering mechanics involves calculation of the amount of load that can be carried by a structure, and in identifying the associated failure mechanism (layout of failure planes, or ‘discontinuities’). Discontinuity layout optimization (DLO) is an engineering analysis procedure which can be used to directly achieve this goal using mathematical optimization methods. This specific project seeks to devise methods of identifying the ultimate load that can be carried by a reinforced concrete slab or plate using DLO, thereby automating the well-known yield-line method of analysis.

DLO software is available via

Project dates

Start date: 
September 2011


(2015). Automatic rationalization of yield-line patterns identified using discontinuity layout optimization. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 84 (7), pp. 27-27. (Full Text).
(2015). The yield-line method for concrete slabs: Automated at last. Structural Engineer, 93 (10), pp. 44-48.
(2014). Automatic yield-line analysis of slabs using discontinuity layout optimization. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 470 (2168), (Full Text)., Abstract: The yield-line method of analysis is a long established and extremely effective means of estimating...