Algorithmic and Computational Aspects of the Use of Optimization Methods in Engineering Design
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV WASHINGTON DC PROGRAM IN LOGISTICS
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The paper deals with the relationship of recent advances in optimization theory, algorithms, and computation to problems of engineering design. The use of point-based optimality criteria for sensitivity analysis is discussed using as an example the design of a cylindrical torsion bar. The use of branch and bound methods for handling nonconvex programming problems to get around the problem of multiple local solutions is illustrated with a problem of reservoir design. An automatic procedure based on a new language for describing mathematical functions is shown as a way to interface between algebraic descriptions of design problems and computer codes implementing more powerful algorithms. This is illustrated by a problem in the design of a space launch vehicle. The capability of converting any optimization problem to a separable problem--thus facilitating the computerized description of the problem--is illustrated by aspects of the design of a vertical corrugated transverse bulkhead. Finally, comments are made concerning the future relationship between optimal engineering design problems and algorithms for solving them.
- Operations Research