Multi-level Simulation and Numerical Optimization of Complex Engineering Designs
Mark Schwabacher, A Gelsey
Multi-level representations have been studied extensively by artifical intelligence researchers. We utilize the multi-level paradigm to attack the problem of performing multidiscipline engineering design optimization in the presence of many local optima. We use a multidisciplinary simulator at multiple levels of abstraction, paired with a multi-level search space. We tested the resulting system in the domain of conceptual design of supersonic transport aircraft, focusing on the airframe and the exhaust nozzle, and using sequential quadratic programming as the optimizer at each level. We found that using multi-level simulation and optimization can decrease the cost of design space search by an order of magnitude.