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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 704804, 16 pages
Research Article

Performance and Risk Assessment of Soil-Structure Interaction Systems Based on Finite Element Reliability Methods

School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Xiamen University, Fujian 361005, China

Received 22 December 2013; Accepted 3 February 2014; Published 20 March 2014

Academic Editor: Hua-Peng Chen

Copyright © 2014 Quan Gu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the context of performance-based earthquake engineering, reliability method has been of significant importance in performance and risk assessment of structures or soil-structure interaction (SSI) systems. The finite element (FE) reliability method combines FE analysis with state-of-the-art methods in reliability analysis and has been employed increasingly to estimate the probability of occurrence of failure events corresponding to various hazard levels (e.g., earthquakes with various intensity). In this paper, crucial components for FE reliability analysis are reviewed and summarized. Furthermore, recent advances in both time invariant and time variant reliability analysis methods for realistic nonlinear SSI systems are presented and applied to a two-dimensional two story building on layered soil. Various time invariant reliability analysis methods are applied, including the first-order reliability method (FORM), importance sampling method, and orthogonal plane sampling (OPS) method. For time variant reliability analysis, an upper bound of the failure probability is obtained from numerical integration of the mean outcrossing rate (MOCR). The MOCR is computed by using FORM analysis and OPS analysis. Results by different FE reliability methods are compared in terms of accuracy and computational cost. This paper provides valuable insights for reliability based probabilistic performance and risk assessment of SSI systems.