AbstractIt is well known that search-space reformulation can improve the speed and reliability of numerical optimization in engineering design. We argue that the best choice of reformulation depends on the design goal, and present a technique for automatically constructing rules that map the design goal into a reformulation chosen from a space of possible reformulations. We tested our technique in the domain of racing-yacht-hull design, where each reformulation corresponds to incorporating constraints into the search space. We applied a standard inductive-learning algorithm, C4.5, to a set of training data describing which constraints are active in the optimal design for each goal encountered in a previous design session. We then used these rules to choose an appropriate reformulation for each of a set of test cases. Our experimental results show that using these reformulations improves both the speed and the reliability of design optimization, outperforming competing methods and approaching the best performance possible.
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