Multi Objective Design

Today architectural design processes are more and more influenced by parametric methods. As these allow for a multiplicity of alternatives, the design process can be enriched by computational optimization. Extensive research has shown the efficiency of optimization in engineering and design disciplines. Though, optimization is hereby rather a technical than a design task; it is limited to different autonomous specialist areas and does not enable a comprehensive approach. Advanced optimization methods facilitate the generation of complex systems, but these procedures are directed and do not provide turnoffs, multiple solutions, or altering circumstances.

These, however, are things that are essential for architectural design processes, which mostly do not have clearly defined starting and end points. This practice subdivides the workflow into two independent and recurring tasks: the generation of a parametric model followed by optimization of its driving parameters. The result is then assessed with respect to its actual qualities. The design either is kept, or modifications on the parametric model, its auxiliary conditions, and parameters are made and the optimization process starts again from scratch.

The aim of this thesis by Robert Vierlinger is the development of basic structures for a flexible generation and optimization framework for practical use in the sense of a continuously accompanying design explorer, in which parameterization is adaptable and objective functions are changeable at any time during the design process. The user is supported in his/her understanding of correlations by identifying a multiplicity of optimal solutions utilizing state-of-the-art multi-objective search algorithms within the core of the framework. Considering the tool as an interactive design aid, an intuitive interface allowing for extensive manual guidance and verification of the search process is featured. User-selection of preferred solutions support man-machine-dialogue and incorporation of non- or not-yet quantifiable measures. A reusable search history aids examination of design alternatives and the redefinition of constraints maintaining the continuity of the search process and traceability of results in the sense of a rational design verification.

Within this work it is not planned to focus on specific optimization targets, but to build an open framework to allow for all kinds of objective functions and in particular the mediation between conflicting targets. A basic platform should be established, applicable in real-world modes of operation that satisfies increasingly complex correlations of modern architecture’s requirements as a powerful extension of classical design methods.

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