Shape optimization is a largely studied problem in aeronautics. It can be applied to many disciplines in this field, namely efficiency improvement of engine blades, noise reduction of engine nozzles, or reduction of the fuel consumption of aircraft. Optimization for general purposes is also of increasing interest in many other fields. Traditionally, optimization procedures were based on deterministic methodologies as in Hamalainen et al (2000), where the optimum working point was fixed. However, not considering what happens in the vicinity of the defined working conditions can produce problems like loose of efficiency and performance. That is, in many cases, if the real working point differs from the original, even a little distance, efficiency is reduced considerably as pointed out in Huyse and Lewis (2001). Non deterministic methodologies have been applied to many fields (Papadrakakis, Lagaros and Tsompanakis, 1998; Plevris, Lagaros and Papadrakakis, 2005). One of the most extended nondeterministic methodologies is the stochastic analysis. The time consuming calculations required on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has prevented an extensive application of the stochastic analysis to shape optimization. Stochastic analysis was firstly developed in structural mechanics, several years ago. Uncertainty quantification and variability studies can help to deal with intrinsic errors of the processes or methods. The result to consider for design optimization is no longer a point, but a range of values that defines the area where, in average, optimal output values are obtained. The optimal value could be worse than other optima, but considering its vicinity, it is clearly the most robust regarding input variability. Uncertainty quantification is a topic of increasing interest from the last few years. It provides several techniques to evaluate uncertainty input parameters and their effects on the outcomes.
This research presents a methodology to integrate evolutionary algorithms and stochastic analysis, in order to deal with uncertainty and to obtain robust solutions.
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