Towards Optimization of Multi-material Structure: Metamodeling of Mixed-Variable Problems
In structural design optimization, it is challenging to determine the optimal dimensions and material for each component simultaneously. Material selection of each part is always formulated as a categorical design variable in structural optimization problems. However, it is difficult to solve such mixed-variable problems using the metamodelbased strategy, because the prediction accuracy of metamodels deteriorates significantly when categorical variables exist. This paper investigates two different strategies of mixed-variable metamodeling: the “feature separating” strategy and the “all-in-one” strategy. A supervised learning-enhanced cokriging method is proposed, which fuses multi-fidelity information to predict new designs’ responses. The proposed method is compared with several existing mixed-variable metamodeling methods to understand their pros and cons. These methods include Neural Network (NN) regression, Classification and Regression Tree (CART) and Gaussian Process (GP).