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Blog Posts Tagged Optimization Module

Using Gradient-Free Optimization

August 2, 2013

The COMSOL Optimization Module includes both gradient-based and gradient-free optimization techniques. Whereas the gradient-based optimization method can compute an exact analytic derivative of an objective function and any associated constraint functions, it does require these functions to be smooth and differentiable. In this blog post, we examine the use of the gradient-free optimizer, which can consider objective function and constraints that are not differentiable or smooth. The dimensions of a spinning wheel are optimized to reduce the mass while maintaining […]

Meshing and Optimization in Engineering Magazines

March 21, 2013

Online engineering magazines, like Design World and Desktop Engineering, are great for anyone out there interested in emerging technologies. I especially liked a few recent articles: two in Design World’s “CAE Solutions” section and one in Desktop Engineering’s simulation section, detailing a couple of major topics important to finite element analysis, or FEA. First there is meshing, the foundation of FEA software. Second, there is optimization, which is all about maximizing efficiency and improving results. The key for any production […]

Optimal Distribution: Tree Roots and Microreactors

March 13, 2013

I love trees and my favorite is definitely the ficus, all varieties included. A few weeks ago I had the chance to admire a stately ficus microcarpa (see figure below). What struck me above all were its aerial roots. Roots are designed to absorb water and nutrients, sustaining the tree and synthesizing substances responsible for its growth. A thought crossed my mind right away: the shape of those roots and the way they coalesce have surely been optimized by Mother […]

Metamaterials Make Physics Seem Like Magic

February 26, 2013

Metamaterials are a new and emerging technology with vast potential to reshape our views on what is and isn’t possible in this physical world of ours. Unlocking the mysteries and overcoming the obstacles associated with metamaterials would lead to a host of technological advances once thought impossible by even the most imaginative of individuals. From making computer chips smaller and faster than the most advanced current ones, to protecting structures from earthquakes, to developing imaging technology that doesn’t harm tissue […]


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