Practical Robust Design Optimization Using Evolutionary Algorithms

Author(s): Amit Saha, Tapabrata Ray,
Volume: 133(12) - December, 2011

Robust design optimization (RDO) seeks to find optimal designs which are less sensitive to the uncontrollable variations that are often inherent to the design process. Studies using Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) for RDO are not too many. In this work, we propose enhancements to an EA based robust optimization procedure with explicit function evaluation saving strategies. The proposed algorithm, IDEAR, takes into account a specified expected uncertainty in the design variables and then imposes the desired robustness criteria during the optimization process to converge to robust optimal solution(s). We pick up a number of Bi-objective engineering design problems from the standard literature and study them in the proposed robust optimization framework to demonstrate the enhanced performance. A cross-validation study is performed to analyze whether the solutions obtained are truly robust and also make some observations on how robust optimal solutions differ from the performance maximizing solutions in the design space. We perform a rigorous analysis of the key features of IDEAR to illustrate its functioning. The proposed function evaluation saving strategies are generic and their applications are worth exploring in other areas of computational design optimization.

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