Distributed Evolutionary Design: Island-Model-based Optimization of Steel Skeleton Structures in Tall Buildings
This paper presents results of a study on distributed, or parallel, evolutionary computation in the topological design of steel structural systems in tall buildings. It describes results of extensive experimental research on various parallel evolutionary architectures applied to a complex structural design problem. The experiments were conducted using Inventor 2003, a networkbased evolutionary design support tool developed at George Mason University. First, a general introduction to evolutionary computation is provided with an emphasis on recent developments in parallel evolutionary architectures. Next, a discussion of conceptual design of steel structural systems in tall buildings is presented. Further, Inventor 2003 is briefly introduced as well as its design representation and evolutionary computation characteristics. Next, the results obtained from systematic design experiments conducted with Inventor 2003 are discussed. The objective of these experiments was to qualitatively and quantitatively investigate evolution of steel structural systems in tall buildings during a distributed evolutionary design process as well as to compare efficiency and effectiveness of various parallel evolutionary architectures with the traditional evolutionary design approaches. Two connectivity topologies (ring topology and fully-connected topology) have been investigated for four populations of structural designs evolving in parallel and using various migration strategies. Also, results of the initial sensitivity studies are reported in which two ways of initializing distributed evolutionary design processes were investigated, using either arbitrarily selected designs as initial parents or randomly generated ones. Finally, initial research conclusions are presented.
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