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Automated Design Synthesis of Structures using Growth Enhanced Evolution


Nicaise, Fabien (2008) Automated Design Synthesis of Structures using Growth Enhanced Evolution. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/28H7-E831.


Engineering design is a complex problem on generating and evaluating a variety of options. In traditional methods, this typically involves evaluating up to a dozen different point designs. The limit on the process is the amount of time to generate, refine, and evaluate the various concepts. Using a computer helps to speed up the process, but human involvement still remains the weakest link.

The natural extension of this process is to continually and rapid generate, refine, and evaluate concepts entirely automatically. Evolutionary Algorithms provide such a method, by emulating natural evolution. The computer maintains a population point design, each of which is represented by a gene string that is allowed to change (mutate) and combine with other genes (crossover). At each generation, every individual is modified then evaluated and the improved solutions proceed to the next generation.

This thesis will extend the biological model by introducing a growth process to each individual. This is akin to the concept of a multi-cellular organism developing in the womb. An encoding for discrete truss structures is described that provides for such an extension. The truss grows from a few basic elements. After showing several examples demonstrating the growth process, the method is applied to a couple simple examples using evolutionary algorithms.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:automated design; design synthesis; genetic algorithms
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Antonsson, Erik K.
Thesis Committee:
  • Antonsson, Erik K. (chair)
  • Adami, Christoph Carl
  • Burdick, Joel Wakeman
  • Pickar, Kenneth A.
Defense Date:19 September 2007
Non-Caltech Author Email:fabien.nicaise (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-06102008-153834
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5231
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:04 Aug 2008
Last Modified:29 Jan 2020 19:41

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