There are wide varieties of structural analysis, and we can classify them according to the following:

**Classical, Matrix, and FEM Approach**

Structural analysis is an art that has developed well throughout history. In today's time, it is something that is still growing.

Back in the day, engineers analyzed structures by hand. They would gather papers, calculators, and spreadsheets and solve them. They use principles developed from Mechanics to examine buildings. This style was said to be the classical approach.

As society progressed and structures became larger and larger, there was a need to have a faster and more accurate way of analyzing buildings to meet the demand; Eventually, with the rise of modern computers, a new approach was made called the matrix approach.

Structures didn't just grow larger over time - they also grew complex. Engineers adopted the Finite Element Method (FEM) approach to cope with this demand.

We'll learn more about each approach in a separate post.

**Determinate or Indeterminate Structures**

Determinacy is a crucial concept, especially in the classical approach. It helps us know what methods and techniques we need to use to solve the structure.

**Plane or Space Structures**

Even though they're 3D objects, engineers can analyze structures in either 2D or 3D space. It would depend on the layout of the supports and members.

It's good to classify whether a structure can be a plane or space because it will help engineers know the scale of their analysis. Two-dimensional buildings are more straightforward to solve. For example, the equilibrium equations to solve a 2D structure would be **three**. For a 3D building, that would be **six**.

**Static or Dynamic Loads**

The load type would also influence what analysis type to make. For example, when dealing with moving objects, the structure behaves differently depending on the load's location. A different study is needed compared to one with a static load.

Other dynamic loads, such as wind and earthquakes, would need a unique analysis.

**Linear or Nonlinear Structures**

Structures can deform linearly or non-linearly - the former deals with objects that return to their original place when the load is released, while the latter does not return.

Engineers allow their structures to go in the latter in certain situations. The analysis for such is different compared to a linear building.

## Summary

Classifications of analysis include: (1) classical, matrix, or FEM approach, (2) determinate or indeterminate structures, (3) plane or space structures, (4) static or dynamic loads, and (5) linear or non-linear structures.