Abstract

Problems in the field of engineering design represent an important class of real world problems that typically require a fuzzy and imprecise representation. This article presents and discusses a new approach to model this type of problem, by incorporating linguistic descriptions together with a variety of user-defined trade-off strategies. An interactive computer application is introduced, using stochastic optimization to solve the design task by producing a specially desired output under the given environmental conditions which are partly caused by the personal preferences of the engineer and by the expectations of the customer. It utilizes a randomized evolutionary technique, made suitable for the class of problems at hand, to generate and to optimize design solutions that are later identified by a clustering algorithm. Moreover test problems that were solved by the application are considered. In all cases the good solutions were obtained by evaluating only an extremely small fraction of all possible designs.

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