We developed a method for analyzing the free vibration of a structure regarded as a distributed system, by combining the Wittrick-Williams algorithm and the transfer dynamic stiffness coefficient method. A computational algorithm was formulated for analyzing the free vibration of a straight-line beam regarded as a distributed system, to explain the concept of the developed method. To verify the effectiveness of the developed method, the natural frequencies of straight-line beams were computed using the finite element method, transfer matrix method, transfer dynamic stiffness coefficient method, the exact solution, and the developed method. By comparing the computational results of the developed method with those of the other methods, we confirmed that the developed method exhibited superior performance over the other methods in terms of computational accuracy, cost and user convenience.
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