Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 663–679 | Cite as

Optimal design of computer experiments for surrogate models with dimensionless variables

  • Ion Hazyuk
  • Marc Budinger
  • Florian Sanchez
  • Christian Gogu


This paper presents a method for constructing optimal design of experiments (DoE) intended for building surrogate models using dimensionless (or non-dimensional) variables. In order to increase the fidelity of the model obtained by regression, the DoE needs to optimally cover the dimensionless space. However, in order to generate the data for the regression, one still needs a DoE for the physical variables, in order to carry out the simulations. Thus, there exist two spaces, each one needing a DoE. Since the dimensionless space is always smaller than the physical one, the challenge for building a DoE is that the relation between the two spaces is not bijective. Moreover, each space usually has its own domain constraints, which renders them not-surjective. This means that it is impossible to design the DoE in one space and then automatically generate the corresponding DoE in the other space while satisfying the constraints from both spaces. The solution proposed in the paper transforms the computation of the DoE into an optimization problem formulated in terms of a space-filling criterion (maximizing the minimum distance between neighboring points). An approach is proposed for efficiently solving this optimization problem in a two steps procedure. The method is particularly well suited for building surrogates in terms of dimensionless variables spanning several orders of magnitude (e.g. power laws). The paper also proposes some variations of the method; one when more control is needed on the number of levels on each non-dimensional variable and another one when a good distribution of the DoE is desired in the logarithmic scale. The DoE construction method is illustrated on three case studies. A purely numerical case illustrates each step of the method and two other, mechanical and thermal, case studies illustrate the results in different configurations and different practical aspects.


Optimal space filling Optimization with space transformation Dimensional analysis Non-dimensional variables Surrogate modelling 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Clément Ader, UMR CNRS 5312, INSA ToulouseToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Institut Clément Ader, UMR CNRS 5312Université Paul Sabatier (UPS)ToulouseFrance

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