Advancing real-time hybrid simulation for coupled nonlinear soil-isolator-structure system

Hongwei Li, Amin Maghareh, Johnny W.C. Uribe, Herta Montoya, Shirley J. Dyke, Zhaodong Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Experiments involving soil-structure interaction are often constrained by the capacity and other limitations of the shake table. Additionally, it is usually necessary to consider different types of soil in experiments. Real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) offers an alternative method to conduct such tests. RTHS is a cyber-physical testing technique that splits the dynamic system under investigation into numerical and physical components, and then realistically couples those components in a single test. A limited number of previous studies involving soil-structure interaction have been conducted using RTHS, with a focus on linear models and systems. The presence of isolators was not considered in these studies to the authors’ best knowledge. Herein, we aim to advance the understanding of the RTHS method by developing and demonstrating its use for nonlinear soil-isolator-structure systems. A sliding mode controller able to deal with both system nonlinearities and wide range of potential uncertainties in such tests is designed and validated using a nonlinear shake table with a nonlinear specimen. By simply changing the numerical model and using the same controller and experimental setup, different soil types and ground motions can readily be considered with this approach. Numerical and RTHS results are compared for verification purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
JournalSmart Structures and Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Nonlinear shake table
  • Real-time hybrid simulation
  • Sliding isolation
  • Sliding mode control
  • Soil-isolator-structure interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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