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A robust objective function for topology optimization

Min Li (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
David A. Lowther (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

Abstract

Purpose

Robust design is very important for manufacturers to ensure the quality of the finished product. Therefore, a robustness measure is needed for the topological design of electromagnetic problems which may be sensitive to parameter variations. The purpose of this paper is to propose a robust objective function for topological design problems.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, a robust objective function for topology optimization is defined on an uncertainty set using the worst case analysis. The robustness of a topological design is defined as the worst response due to the variations of the location of the topology change. The approach is based on the definition of a topological gradient.

Findings

The robust topology optimization (RTO) was applied to eddy current crack reconstruction problems. The numerical applications showed that this method can provide more reliable results for the reconstruction in the presence of significant noise in the measured signal.

Research limitations/implications

The RTO may be applied to some more complicated design problems; however large computational costs may result.

Originality/value

This paper has defined a robustness metric for topology design and a robust design model is proposed for topology optimization problems.

Keywords

Citation

Li, M. and Lowther, D.A. (2011), "A robust objective function for topology optimization", COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 1829-1841. https://doi.org/10.1108/03321641111168138

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited