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Technical Paper

A Data Mining and Optimization Process with Shape and Size Design Variables Consideration for Vehicle Application

This paper presents a design process with data mining technique and advanced optimization strategy. The proposed design method provides insights in three aspects. First, data mining technique is employed for analysis to identify key factors of design variables. Second, relationship between multiple types of size and shape design variables and performance responses can be analyzed. Last but not least, design preference can be initialized based on data analysis to provide priori guidance for the starting design points of optimization algorithm. An exhaust system design problem which largely contributes to the improvement of vehicular Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) performance is employed for the illustration of the process. Two types of design parameters, structural variable (gauge of component) and layout variable (hanger location), are considered in the studied case.
Technical Paper

An Effective Optimization Strategy for Structural Weight Reduction

Multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) methods are commonly used for weight reduction in automotive industry. The design variables for MDO are often selected based on critical parts, which usually are close to optimal after many design iterations. As a result, the real weight reduction benefit may not be fully realized due to poor selection of design parameters. In addition, most applications require running design of experiments (DOE) to explore the full design space and to build response surfaces for optimization. This approach is often too costly if too many design variables are simultaneously considered. In this research, an alternative approach to address these issues is presented. It includes two optimization phases. The first phase uses critical parts for design iterations and the second phase use non-critical for weight reduction. A vehicle body structure is used to demonstrate the proposed strategy to show its effectiveness.
Technical Paper

Comparative Benchmark Studies of Response Surface Model-Based Optimization and Direct Multidisciplinary Design Optimization

Response Surface Model (RSM)-based optimization is widely used in engineering design. The major strength of RSM-based optimization is its short computational time. The expensive real simulation models are replaced with fast surrogate models. However, this method may have some difficulties to reach the full potential due to the errors between RSM and the real simulations. RSM's accuracy is limited by the insufficient number of Design of Experiments (DOE) points and the inherent randomness of DOE. With recent developments in advanced optimization algorithms and High Performance Computing (HPC) capability, Direct Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (DMDO) receives more attention as a promising future optimization strategy. Advanced optimization algorithm reduces the number of function evaluations, and HPC cut down the computational turnaround time of function evaluations through fully utilizing parallel computation.
Technical Paper

A CAE Optimization Process for Vehicle High Frequency NVH Applications

A CAE SEA-based optimization process for the enhancement of vehicle high frequency NVH applications is developed and validated. The CAE simulation, based on statistical energy analysis (SEA) theory [1], has been used to analyze high frequency NVH responses for the vehicle sound package development. However, engineers have always faced two challenges during the vehicle SEA model development. One is to create a reliable SEA model, which is correlated well with hardware test data. The other is to have a systematic approach by using the correlated model to design effective and cost efficient sound package to improve vehicle interior quietness. The optimization process presented in this paper, which integrates analysis, design sensitivity, and optimization solver, has been developed to address the challenges and to serve the needs. A non-correlated Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and a correlated midsize car models were used to demonstrate the capability of the proposed optimization process.
Journal Article

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).
Journal Article

A Data Mining-Based Strategy for Direct Multidisciplinary Optimization

One of the major challenges in multiobjective, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) is the long computational time required in evaluating the new designs' performances. To shorten the cycle time of product design, a data mining-based strategy is developed to improve the efficiency of heuristic optimization algorithms. Based on the historical information of the optimization process, clustering and classification techniques are employed to identify and eliminate the low quality and repetitive designs before operating the time-consuming design evaluations. The proposed method improves design performances within the same computation budget. Two case studies, one mathematical benchmark problem and one vehicle side impact design problem, are conducted as demonstration.
Journal Article

A Comparative Benchmark Study of using Different Multi-Objective Optimization Algorithms for Restraint System Design

Vehicle restraint system design is a difficult optimization problem to solve because (1) the nature of the problem is highly nonlinear, non-convex, noisy, and discontinuous; (2) there are large numbers of discrete and continuous design variables; (3) a design has to meet safety performance requirements for multiple crash modes simultaneously, hence there are a large number of design constraints. Based on the above knowledge of the problem, it is understandable why design of experiment (DOE) does not produce a high-percentage of feasible solutions, and it is difficult for response surface methods (RSM) to capture the true landscape of the problem. Furthermore, in order to keep the restraint system more robust, the complexity of restraint system content needs to be minimized in addition to minimizing the relative risk score to achieve New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) 5-star rating.
Journal Article

Multidisciplinary Optimization of Auto-Body Lightweight Design Using Hybrid Metamodeling Technique and Particle Swarm Optimizer

Because of rising complexity during the automotive product development process, the number of disciplines to be concerned has been significantly increased. Multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) methodology, which provides an opportunity to integrate each discipline and conduct compromise searching process, is investigated and introduced to achieve the best compromise solution for the automotive industry. To make a better application of MDO, the suitable coupling strategy of different disciplines and efficient optimization techniques for automotive design are studied in this article. Firstly, considering the characteristics of automotive load cases which include many shared variables but rare coupling variables, a multilevel MDO coupling strategy based on enhanced collaborative optimization (ECO) is studied to improve the computational efficiency of MDO problems.
Technical Paper

Study of Optimization Strategy for Vehicle Restraint System Design

Vehicle restraint systems are optimized to maximize occupant safety and achieve high safety ratings. The optimization formulation often involves the inclusion or exclusion of restraint features as discrete design variables, as well as continuous restraint design variables such as airbag firing time, airbag vent size, inflator power level, etc. The optimization problem is constrained by injury criteria such as Head Injury Criterion (HIC), chest deflection, chest acceleration, neck tension/compression, etc., which ensures the vehicle meets or exceeds all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requirements. Typically, Genetic Algorithms (GA) optimizations are applied because of their capability to handle discrete and continuous variables simultaneously and their ability to jump out of regions with multiple local optima, particularly for this type of highly non-linear problems.