Bayesian adaptive sampling for discrete design alternatives in conceptual design
Valenzuela-Del Rio, Jose Eugenio
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The number of technology alternatives has lately grown to satisfy the increasingly demanding goals in modern engineering. These technology alternatives are handled in the design process as either concepts or categorical design inputs. Additionally, designers desire to bring into early design more and more accurate, but also computationally burdensome, simulation tools to obtain better performing initial designs that are more valuable in subsequent design stages. It constrains the computational budget to optimize the design space. These two factors unveil the need of a conceptual design methodology to use more efficiently sophisticated tools for engineering problems with several concept solutions and categorical design choices. Enhanced initial designs and discrete alternative selection are pursued. Advances in computational speed and the development of Bayesian adaptive sampling techniques have enabled the industry to move from the use of look-up tables and simplified models to complex physics-based tools in conceptual design. These techniques focus computational resources on promising design areas. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the work has been done on problems with continuous spaces, whereas concepts and categories are treated independently. However, observations show that engineering objectives experience similar topographical trends across many engineering alternatives. In order to address these challenges, two meta-models are developed. The first one borrows the Hamming distance and function space norms from machine learning and functional analysis, respectively. These distances allow defining categorical metrics that are used to build an unique probabilistic surrogate whose domain includes, not only continuous and integer variables, but also categorical ones. The second meta-model is based on a multi-fidelity approach that enhances a concept prediction with previous concept observations. These methodologies leverage similar trends seen from observations and make a better use of sample points increasing the quality of the output in the discrete alternative selection and initial designs for a given analysis budget. An extension of stochastic mixed-integer optimization techniques to include the categorical dimension is developed by adding appropriate generation, mutation, and crossover operators. The resulted stochastic algorithm is employed to adaptively sample mixed-integer-categorical design spaces. The proposed surrogates are compared against traditional independent methods for a set of canonical problems and a physics-based rotor-craft model on a screened design space. Next, adaptive sampling algorithms on the developed surrogates are applied to the same problems. These tests provide evidence of the merit of the proposed methodologies. Finally, a multi-objective rotor-craft design application is performed in a large domain space. This thesis provides several novel academic contributions. The first contribution is the development of new efficient surrogates for systems with categorical design choices. Secondly, an adaptive sampling algorithm is proposed for systems with mixed-integer-categorical design spaces. Finally, previously sampled concepts can be brought to construct efficient surrogates of novel concepts. With engineering judgment, design community could apply these contributions to discrete alternative selection and initial design assessment when similar topographical trends are observed across different categories and/or concepts. Also, it could be crucial to overcome the current cost of carrying a set of concepts and wider design spaces in the categorical dimension forward into preliminary design.