Probabilistic Methods in Engineering: Quantifying Uncertainty and Implementing Performance-Based Design

Ricardo O. Foschi, Laura M. Quiroz, Oscar Möller


The last decades have seen great advances in computational models and in the ability to tackle previously intractable problems in mechanics. Yet, these models normally incorporate many variables which are not deterministic, introducing uncertainty in the calculated output. The problem of estimating the probability distribution of the output, given the probabilistic description of the input, has als o received much at tenti on since the 1 9 6 0 ’s and many computational techniques have now been developed to account for the probabilistic nature of the problem. This paper discusses the integration of analysis and reliability assessment, including examples of large Canadian projects and design codification. Current objectives in probabilistic methods include the development of performance-based design. This paper discusses this topic in the context of earthquake engineering, with an application to the performance-based design of a steel pile under seismic excitation.

Full Text:


Asociación Argentina de Mecánica Computacional
Güemes 3450
S3000GLN Santa Fe, Argentina
Phone: 54-342-4511594 / 4511595 Int. 1006
Fax: 54-342-4511169
E-mail: amca(at)
ISSN 2591-3522