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An Overview of Sequential Approximation in Topology Optimization of Continuum Structure

Kai Long1, Ayesha Saeed1, Jinhua Zhang2, Yara Diaeldin1, Feiyu Lu1, Tao Tao3, Yuhua Li1,*, Pengwen Sun4, Jinshun Yan5

1 State Key Laboratory of Alternate Electrical Power System with Renewable Energy Sources, North China Electric Power University, Beijing, 102206, China
2 Faculty of Materials and Manufacturing, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, 100124, China
3 New Energy and Energy Storage Division, China Southern Power Grid Technology Co., Ltd., Guangzhou, 510080, China
4 School of Mechanical Engineering, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, Hohhot, 010051, China
5 College of Energy and Power Engineering, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, Hohhot, 010051, China

* Corresponding Author: Yuhua Li. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Structural Design and Optimization)

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2024, 139(1), 43-67.


This paper offers an extensive overview of the utilization of sequential approximate optimization approaches in the context of numerically simulated large-scale continuum structures. These structures, commonly encountered in engineering applications, often involve complex objective and constraint functions that cannot be readily expressed as explicit functions of the design variables. As a result, sequential approximation techniques have emerged as the preferred strategy for addressing a wide array of topology optimization challenges. Over the past several decades, topology optimization methods have been advanced remarkably and successfully applied to solve engineering problems incorporating diverse physical backgrounds. In comparison to the large-scale equation solution, sensitivity analysis, graphics post-processing, etc., the progress of the sequential approximation functions and their corresponding optimizers make sluggish progress. Researchers, particularly novices, pay special attention to their difficulties with a particular problem. Thus, this paper provides an overview of sequential approximation functions, related literature on topology optimization methods, and their applications. Starting from optimality criteria and sequential linear programming, the other sequential approximate optimizations are introduced by employing Taylor expansion and intervening variables. In addition, recent advancements have led to the emergence of approaches such as Augmented Lagrange, sequential approximate integer, and non-gradient approximation are also introduced. By highlighting real-world applications and case studies, the paper not only demonstrates the practical relevance of these methods but also underscores the need for continued exploration in this area. Furthermore, to provide a comprehensive overview, this paper offers several novel developments that aim to illuminate potential directions for future research.


Cite This Article

Long, K., Saeed, A., Zhang, J., Diaeldin, Y., Lu, F. et al. (2024). An Overview of Sequential Approximation in Topology Optimization of Continuum Structure. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 139(1), 43–67.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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