AbstractAutomated search of a space of candidate designs seems an attractive way to improve the traditional engineering design process. To make this approach work, however, the automated design system must include both knowledge of the modeling limitations of the method used to evaluate candidate designs and also an effective way to use this knowledge to influence the search process. We suggest that a productive approach is to include this knowledge by implementing a set of model constraint functions which measure how much each modeling assumptions is violated, and to influence the search by using the values of these model constraint functions as constraint inputs to a standard constrained nonlinear optimization numerical method. We test this idea in the domain of conceptual design of supersonic transport aircraft, and our experiments indicate that our model constraint communication strategy can decrease the cost of design space search by one or more orders of magnitude.
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