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Topological Design via a Rule Based Genetic Optimization Algorithm

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Document pages: 31 pages

Abstract: A topological structuraldesign approach is presented which is based upon the implementation of a twophase evolutionary optimization algorithm in conjunction with a finite elementanalysis code. The first phase utilizes a conventional genetic approach which performs a global search for theoptimal design topology. Dual level material properties are specified withinthe genetic encoding and are applied to each individual element in the designmesh to represent either design material or a void. The second phase introduces a rulebased refinement which allows for user design intent to accelerate the solutionprocess and eliminate obvious design discrepancies resulting from the phase onesearch. A series of plate design problems are presented where the objective isto minimize the overall volume of the structure under predefined loading andconstraint conditions. The constraints include both stress and deflectionconsiderations where stress is calculated through the use of a commercialfinite element package. The initial plate example incorporates a coarse mesh,but a gradual decrease in element size was employed for the remaining casesexamined. Replacement of the phase one search with a set of randomly generateddesigns is demonstrated in order to form a greatly reduced design space whichdrastically increases the efficiency of the solution process. Comparisonresults are drawn between the conventional genetic algorithm and the two phaseprocedure.

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