Shape optimization for drag reduction in linked bodies using evolution strategies

Mattia Gazzola, Oleg V. Vasilyev, Petros Koumoutsakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results from the shape optimization of linked bodies for drag reduction in simulations of incompressible flow at moderate Reynolds numbers. The optimization relies on the covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy (CMA-ES) and the flow simulations use vortex methods with the Brinkman penalization to enforce boundary conditions in complex bodies. We exploit the inherent parallelism of CMA-ES, by implementing a multi-host framework which allows for the distribution of the expensive cost function evaluations across parallel architectures, without being limited to one computing facility. This study repeats in silico for the first time Ingo Rechenberg's pioneering wind tunnel experiments for drag reduction that led to the inception of evolution strategies. The simulations confirm that the results of these experimental studies indicate a flat plate is not the optimal solution for drag reduction in linked bodies. We present the vorticity field of the flow and identify the governing mechanisms for this drag reduction by the slightly corrugated linked plate configuration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1231
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Structures
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Brinkman penalization
  • Covariance matrix adaptation-evolutionary strategy
  • Flow optimization
  • Remeshed vortex particle method
  • Shape optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Shape optimization for drag reduction in linked bodies using evolution strategies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this