Design of dynamic systems using surrogate models of derivative functions

Anand P. Deshmukh, James T. Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optimization of dynamic systems often requires system simulation. Several important classes of dynamic system models have computationally expensive time derivative functions, resulting in simulations that are significantly slower than real time. This makes design optimization based on these models impractical. An efficient two-loop method, based on surrogate modeling, is presented here for solving dynamic system design problems with computationally expensive derivative functions. A surrogate model is constructed for only the derivative function instead of the simulation response. Simulation is performed based on the computationally inexpensive surrogate derivative function; this strategy preserves the nature of the dynamic system, and improves computational efficiency and accuracy compared to conventional surrogate modeling. The inner-loop optimization problem is solved for a given derivative function surrogate model (DFSM), and the outer loop updates the surrogate model based on optimization results. One unique challenge of this strategy is to ensure surrogate model accuracy in two regions: near the optimal point in the design space, and near the state trajectory in the state space corresponding to the optimal design. The initial evidence of method effectiveness is demonstrated first using two simple design examples, followed by a more detailed wind turbine codesign problem that accounts for aeroelastic effects and simultaneously optimizes physical and control system design. In the last example, a linear state-dependent model is used that requires computationally expensive matrix updates when either state or design variables change. Results indicate an order-of-magnitude reduction in function evaluations when compared to conventional surrogate modeling. The DFSM method is expected to be beneficial only for problems where derivative function evaluation expense, and not large problem dimension, is the primary contributor to solution expense (a restricted but important problem class). The initial studies presented here revealed opportunities for potential further method improvement and deeper investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101402
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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