Gradient-Based Tradeoff Design with Efficient Sensitivity Analysis for Large-Scale Problems

Gene Hou and Duc T. Nguyen

MAE Department, #1323 ECSB (

CEE Department, #1319 ECSB (

Old Dominion University (ODU)

Norfolk, Virginia 23529 (USA)

Part 1: Tradeoff design

Prof. Gene Hou

A tradeoff can be defined as a balance or compromise between two or more desirable but incompatible features. Some progresses have been made in the development of proper design optimization formulations for tradeoff design. This presentation will start with a brief review of design optimization problem formulation and solution strategies. It will lead to the main topic on tradeoff design which is formulated and solved in the framework of the Sequential Quadratic Programming. Examples are presented to validate and demonstrate the use of the tradeoff approach to find the best design adjustment to meet performance requirements.

Part 2. Domain Partitioning for FEA and Design Sensitivity Analysis

Prof. Duc T. Nguyen

Domain Partitioning (DP) algorithms have been generally accepted as effective ways for Finite Element Analysis (FEA), design sensitivity analysis (DSA) and Optimization of large-scale problems in parallel computer environment. In this presentation, the speaker will describe a newly developed “Domain Partitioning” algorithm which is not only simple, but also highly efficient as compared to the popular “METIS” software which has been widely used by researchers around the globe in the past many years. Detailed sensitivity (or derivative) computations within the framework of DP formulation will be explained, so that the audience will see the interconnections between general purpose FEA, Design Sensitivity Analysis, and Engineering optimization. Several numerical examples are used to facilitate the discussions.

Prof. Gene Hou

Prof. Gene Hou

Prof. Gene Hou received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Iowa in May 1983. He joined Old Dominion University right after graduation and was promoted to the rank of full professor in August 1996. Dr. Hou’s research fields are in computational mechanics and multidisciplinary design optimization. His current research topics involve multi-objective trade-off design and design optimization with uncertainty. His academic accomplishments include 49 journal articles, 67 proceeding papers and has secured external funds of over 3 million dollars. He received the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1987-92, the outstanding Mechanical faculty award, 1985 and 1995, the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, 1988, the College Excellence Award in Industry Partnering, 2002 and named as the faculty member who most inspired the honor graduate, 1993 and 2000.

Prof. Duc T. Nguyen

Prof. Duc T. Nguyen

Prof. Duc T. Nguyen obtained his B.S. (Northeastern University, 1974), M.S. (U.C. Berkeley, 1976), and Ph.D (University of Iowa, 1982) degrees in Civil/Structural Engineering. He has been a Civil Engineering faculty at Old Dominion University (ODU) since 1985. His teaching activities [including 3 published textbooks, 1 co-edited book, and 1 upcoming (around August-2023) SECOND EDITION textbook with Springer Nature Publisher], research works (with over 200 published articles) and 37 funded projects (exceeding US$4.3 millions) in Large-Scale Parallel Computational Mechanics (for both research, and STEM education categories) have led to international (IEEE Supercomputing Conference Gigaflops Performance in 1989), national (NASA Langley Research Center Tech Brief in 1993), and regional (ODU A. Rufus Tonelson Distinguished Faculty in 2001 ) awards. Prof. Nguyen has also received 11 Summer Faculty Fellowship awards offered by NASA Centers, and Air-Force Laboratory.


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