Accuracy of engineering calculations

Before carrying out any calculation of any building structure, it is important for an engineer to remember that the actual operation of that structure cannot be modeled accurately. Mathematical (including computer) modeling always contains a number of inaccuracies:

  • inaccuracies in the initial data (for example, we cannot absolutely accurately establish the yield strength of steel)
  • inaccuracies in the solution method (e.g. finite element method - approximate numerical method)
  • computational errors (for example, a computer is not able to accurately represent the number 0.1 and many other numbers, and it does so approximately)
  • etc.

Errors have another unpleasant feature: they overlap. So, the errors listed above can be summed up and the total value will contain their combination.

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Difficulty basic
Language en (English)
Building Code Eurocode
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