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A hyper-heuristic approach to aircraft structural design optimization.

Allen, J.G. and Coates, G. and Trevelyan, J. (2013) 'A hyper-heuristic approach to aircraft structural design optimization.', Structural and multidisciplinary optimization., 48 (4). pp. 807-819.


The conceptual design of an aircraft is a challenging problem in which optimization can be of great importance to the quality of design generated. Mass optimization of the structural design of an aircraft aims to produce an airframe of minimal mass whilst maintaining satisfactory strength under various loading conditions due to flight and ground manoeuvres. Hyper-heuristic optimization is an evolving field of research wherein the optimization process is continuously adapted in order to provide greater improvements in the quality of the solution generated. The relative infancy of hyper-heuristic optimization has resulted in limited application within the field of aerospace design. This paper describes a framework for the mass optimization of the structural layout of an aircraft at the conceptual level of design employing a novel hyper-heuristic approach. This hyper-heuristic approach encourages solution space exploration, thus reducing the likelihood of premature convergence, and improves the feasibility of and convergence upon the best solution found. A case study is presented to illustrate the effects of hyper-heuristics on the problem for a large commercial aircraft. Resulting solutions were generated of considerably lighter mass than the baseline aircraft. A further improvement in solution quality was found with the use of the hyper-heuristics compared to that obtained without, albeit with a penalty on computation time.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:09 June 2014
Date of first online publication:October 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

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