A ‘simple’ genetic algorithm is adopted to optimise the shape and minimise the volume of arch dams. The main genetic algorithm parameters affecting the optimisation process are identified and a parametric study is undertaken to assess the influence of each parameter and determine the most suitable parameter values. The genetic algorithm is applied to two arch dams and the results are compared with those from other optimisation techniques. It is shown that the genetic algorithm procedure and parameters presented in this article can be successfully adopted for shape optimisation of arch dams.

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