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  • 1. Kokkolaras, Michael
    et al.
    Audet, Charles
    Departement de Mathematiques et de Genie Industriel, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.
    Jr., J.E. Dennis
    Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University, Houston.
    Mixed Variable Optimization of the Number and Composition of Heat Intercepts in a Thermal Insulation System2001In: Optimization and Engineering, ISSN 1389-4420, E-ISSN 1573-2924, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 42519-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the literature, thermal insulation systems with a fixed number of heat intercepts have been optimized with respect to intercept locations and temperatures. The number of intercepts and the types of insulators that surround them were chosen by parametric studies. This was because the optimization methods used could not treat such categorical variables. Discrete optimization variables are categorical if the objective function or the constraints can not be evaluated unless the variables take one of a prescribed enumerable set of values. The key issue is that categorical variables can not be treated as ordinary discrete variables are treated by relaxing them to continuous variables with a side constraint that they be discrete at the solution. A new mixed variable programming (MVP) algorithm makes it possible to optimize directly with respect to mixtures of discrete, continuous, and categorical decision variables. The result of applying MVP is shown here to give a 65% reduction in the objective function over the previously published result for a thermal insulation model from the engineering literature. This reduction is largely because MVP optimizes simultaneously with respect to the number of heat intercepts and the choices from a list of insulator types as well as intercept locations and temperatures. The main purpose of this paper is to show that the mixed variable optimization algorithm can be applied effectively to a broad class of optimization problems in engineering that could not be easily solved with earlier methods

  • 2. Kokkolaras, Michael
    et al.
    Jr., Andrew J. Meade
    Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University.
    Zeldin, Boris
    Software Engineer, Vignette Corporation.
    Concurrent Implementation of the Optimal Incremental Approximation Method for the Adaptive and Meshless Solution of Differential Equations2003In: Optimization and Engineering, ISSN 1389-4420, E-ISSN 1573-2924, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 271-289Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The optimal incremental function approximation method is implemented for the adaptive and meshless solution of differential equations. The basis functions and associated coefficients of a series expansion representing the solution are selected optimally at each step of the algorithm according to appropriate error minimization criteria. Thus, the solution is built incrementally. In this manner, the computational technique is adaptive in nature, although a grid is neither built nor adapted in the traditional sense using a posteriori error estimates. Since the basis functions are associated with the nodes only, the method can be viewed as a meshless method. Variational principles are utilized for the definition of the objective function to be extremized in the associated optimization problems. Complicated data structures, expensive remeshing algorithms, and systems solvers are avoided. Computational efficiency is increased by using low-order local basis functions and the parallel direct search (PDS) optimization algorithm. Numerical results are reported for both a linear and a nonlinear problem associated with fluid dynamics. Challenges and opportunities regarding the use of this method are discussed

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