This paper investigates the dynamics of a slender beam subjected to transverse periodic excitation. Of particular interest is the formulation of nondegenerate continuation problems that may be analyzed numerically, in order to explore the parameter-dependence of the steady-state excitation response, while accounting for geometric nonlinearities. Several candidate formulations are presented, including finite-difference (FD) and finite-element (FE) discretizations of the governing scalar, integro-partial differential boundary-value problem (BVP), as well as of a corresponding first-order-in-space, mixed formulation. As an example, a periodic BVP — obtained from a Galerkin-type, FE discretization with continuously differentiable, piecewise-polynomial trial and test functions, and an elimination of Lagrange multipliers associated with spatial boundary conditions — is analyzed to determine the beam response via numerical continuation using a MATLAB-based software suite. In the case of an FE discretization of the mixed formulation with continuous, piecewise-polynomial trial and test functions, it is shown that the choice of spatial boundary conditions may render the resultant index-1, differential-algebraic BVP equivariant under a symmetry group of state-space translations. The paper demonstrates several methods for breaking the equivariance in order to obtain a nondegenerate continuation problem, including a projection onto a symmetry-reduced state space or the introduction of an artificial continuation parameter. As is further demonstrated, an orthogonal collocation discretization in time of the BVP gives rise to ghost solutions, corresponding to arbitrary drift in the algebraic variables. This singularity is resolved by using an asymmetric discretization in time.

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