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unilogo University of Stuttgart
Institute of Engineering and Computational Mechanics



Global Optimization of Structures and Control Systems

Project Description

The objective of project B1 is the development of concepts for the modelling, analysis and optimization of adaptive structures. Since elements of these structures fulfill several functions simultaneously, e.g., adaptive and structural functions, a separate optimization of structures and control systems may lead to sub-optimal results. The concepts of global optimization, therefore, consider simultaneously parameters of the active and passive parts of the system for optimization.

In order to improve the evaluation of criteria- and sensitivity functions and the handling of extensive optimization problems special attention is given to mathematical and numerical methods used in the optimization algorithms. In particular, point- and piecewise defined functions may be contained in the model or the criteria functions. Furthermore, external programs may be necessary for the analysis of adaptive structures, subsequently a linking of the optimization with the external codes is required.

For the scalar optimization deterministic algorithms with special methods for the sensitivity anlysis as well as stochastic methods are applied. The sensitivity analysis of functions computed by external programs and of point- and piecewise defined functions is carried out using Automatic Differentiation. If the criteria functions are non convex and include many local minima, stochastic methods are applied, e.g. an Evolution Strategy using parallel computing.


  • Bestle, Dieter: Analyse und Optimierung von Mehrkörpersystemen. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1994.
  • Eberhard, Peter: Zur Mehrkriterienoptimierung von Mehrkörpersystemen, VDI Fortschrittberichte, 227, series 11. Düsseldorf: VDI Verlag, 1996.
  • Eberhard, Peter and Dignath, Florian: Control Optimization of Multibody Systems Using Point- and Piecewise Defined Optimization Criteria, Engineering Optimization, 32, S417-438, 2000.
  • Florian Dignath, Markus Hermle and Werner Schiehlen: Smart Structures in Robotics, Proceedings of the IUTAM Symposium on Smart Structures and Structronic Systems, U. Gabbert and H.S. Tzou (Eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, S33--40, 2001.

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