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Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 449–468 | Cite as

Representative surrogate problems as test functions for expensive simulators in multidisciplinary design optimization of vehicle structures

  • Ramses Sala
  • Niccolò Baldanzini
  • Marco Pierini
RESEARCH PAPER

Abstract

A large variety of algorithms for multidisciplinary optimization is available, but for various industrial problem types that involve expensive function evaluations, there is still few guidance available to select efficient optimization algorithms. This is also the case for multidisciplinary vehicle design optimization problems involving, e.g., weight, crashworthiness, and vibrational comfort responses. In this paper, an approach for the development of Representative Surrogate Problems (RSPs) as synthetic test functions for a relatively complex industrial problem is presented. The work builds on existing sensitivity analysis and surrogate data generation methods to establish a novel approach to generate surrogate function sets, which are accessible (i.e. not resource demanding) and aim to generate statistically representative instances of specific classes of industrial problems. The approach is demonstrated through the construction of RSPs for multidisciplinary optimization problems that occur in the context of structural car body design. As a “proof of concept” the RSP approach is applied for the selection of suitable optimization algorithms, for several problem formulations and for a meta-optimization (i.e. an optimization of the optimization algorithm parameters) to increase optimization efficiency. The potential of the approach is demonstrated by comparing the efficiency of several optimization algorithms on an RSP and an independent simulation-based vehicle model. The results corroborate the potential of the proposed approach and significant performance gains in optimization efficiency are achieved. Although the approach is developed for the particular application presented, the approach is described in a general way, to encourage readers to use the gist of the concept.

Keywords

Multidisciplinary design optimization Test problems Benchmarking Meta-optimization Vehicle design 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is performed in the scope of the GRESIMO and ENLIGHT projects, targeting environmentally friendly mobility solutions. The authors have been partially funded by the European Community’s 7th Framework program by means of: an ITN fellowship in the GRESIMO project as part of the People program (Marie Curie Actions) grant agreement no. 290050, and a contribution to the activities in the ENLIGHT project grant agreement no. 314567. Furthermore, the authors are thankful for the publicly available finite element vehicle models used in this work. These models have been developed by the National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC) of The George Washington University under a contract with the FHWA and NHTSA of the US DOT.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramses Sala
    • 1
  • Niccolò Baldanzini
    • 1
  • Marco Pierini
    • 1
  1. 1.Università degli Studi di FirenzeFlorenceItaly

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