Combining mathematical programming and SysML for component sizing as applied to hydraulic systems
Shah, Aditya Arunkumar
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In this research, the focus is on improving a designer's capability to determine near-optimal sizes of components for a given system architecture. Component sizing is a hard problem to solve because of the presence of competing objectives, requirements from multiple disciplines, and the need for finding a solution quickly for the architecture being considered. In current approaches, designers rely on heuristics and iterate over the multiple objectives and requirements until a satisfactory solution is found. To improve on this state of practice, this research introduces advances in the following two areas: a.) Formulating a component sizing problem in a manner that is convenient to designers and b.) Solving the component sizing problem in an efficient manner so that all of the imposed requirements are satisfied simultaneously and the solution obtained is mathematically optimal. In particular, an acausal, algebraic, equation-based, declarative modeling approach is taken to solve component sizing problems efficiently. This is because global optimization algorithms exist for algebraic models and the computation time is considerably less as compared to the optimization of dynamic simulations. In this thesis, the mathematical programming language known as GAMS (General Algebraic Modeling System) and its associated global optimization solvers are used to solve component sizing problems efficiently. Mathematical programming languages such as GAMS are not convenient for formulating component sizing problems and therefore the Systems Modeling Language developed by the Object Management Group (OMG SysML ) is used to formally capture and organize models related to component sizing into libraries that can be reused to compose new models quickly by connecting them together. Model-transformations are then used to generate low-level mathematical programming models in GAMS that can be solved using commercial off-the-shelf solvers such as BARON (Branch and Reduce Optimization Navigator) to determine the component sizes that satisfy the requirements and objectives imposed on the system. This framework is illustrated by applying it to an example application for sizing a hydraulic log splitter.