Shahi produces best paper at fuzzy systems conference

Ph.D. student Shahrokh Shahi

Ph.D. student Shahrokh Shahi has won the Best Student Paper award at the 2019 joint World Congress of the International Fuzzy Systems Association and Annual Conference of the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society.

“I have always been enthusiastic about employing computer science concepts in down-to-earth engineering applications,” said Shahi, who’s pursuing a Ph.D. in computational science and engineering with Associate Professor Rafi Muhanna. “Winning this award in a computer science conference for a paper with such engineering application is very exciting and important to me, and it encourages me to pursue my research in this direction.”

Shahi’s paper introduced a mathematical formulation that accounts for uncertainty in supporting conditions of structural systems. The idea is to develop mathematical models of structures that account for uncertainty in supporting conditions and structural connections — an area that has received little attention.

“Modeling boundary conditions is one of the most sensitive steps in the formulation of the mathematical model of a given system,” Shahi said. “Usually, supporting conditions are idealized, simplifying the mechanical behavior of the actual structural supports. Such idealization, in addition to disregarding the actual supporting conditions and uncertainty involved, may lead to inaccurate evaluation of the actual behavior of the structure.

“Therefore, developing a practical approach that accounts for uncertainty in supporting conditions is crucial.”

Shahi and Muhanna approached the problem by modeling it as an interval. In other words, they created a range of values that captures any possible variations in the support structures.

Shahi’s award was one of only three award categories presented at the conference — for the best overall paper, the best student paper and a top poster.