As indicated in Art. 3.36, displacement methods for analyzing structures relate force components acting at the joints, or nodes, to the corresponding displacement components at these joints through a set of equilibrium equations. In matrix notation, this set of equations
[Eq. (3.134)] is represented by
The matrix displacement method can be used to analyze both determinate and indeterminate frames, trusses, and beams. Because the method is based primarily on manipulating matrices, it is employed in most structural-analysis computer programs. In the same context, these programs can handle substantial amounts of data, which enables analysis of large and often complex structures.