April 2011 Contents
Optimization Viewpoints: Basic Principles of a New Optimization Paradigm
Optimize Faster with HEEDS PARALLEL
April HEEDS User Group Meeting
New! HEEDS 101 Training
Basic Principles of a New Optimization Paradigm
Optimization Viewpoints Blog

by Ron Averill


Change is often viewed as the result of a scientific discovery or the development of a breakthrough technology. But there's usually a lot more to the story. To quote Paul Saffo - technology doesn't drive change, it enables change.


When the chainsaw was first introduced, I wonder how many lumberjacks tried dragging it back and forth against a tree, expecting it to work the same way as a hand saw. Figuring out the best use of a new technology is just as important, and sometimes as difficult, as developing the technology in the first place.


Too often, the real value of a new technology becomes enslaved by old notions about how things work or what is possible. To realize the full advantages of a new technology, we need to look at things differently and accept new possibilities.


Recently, a new paradigm has emerged for design optimization - one that is enabled by game-changing discoveries in optimization search technology and that leverages ongoing advances in computing power and virtual prototyping. This paradigm is free of the constraints imposed by previous technology and is based on a set of principles that allow a more natural flow of thought and effort:


  1. Start with a good concept, not necessarily a good design. Let the optimizer do the work of searching for good designs.
  2. Optimize early and often. Not just at the end of the design cycle or after all other means have been exhausted.
  3. Define the design problem you need to solve. Not the one that can be solved by a certain optimization strategy.
  4. Optimize the system interactions. Not just the components.
  5. Let the optimization algorithm figure out how to search the design space. There's often no way to guess ahead of time which search method and tuning parameters will work best.
  6. Don't perform optimization using models of your models. Response surface or surrogate models often increase effort and error.
  7. Be an engaged participant in the optimization search. Leverage your knowledge and intuition during a collaborative search process.
  8. Care about the sensitivities of your final design. Not those of your initial guess, which often have no bearing on the final design.


A design optimization process based on these principles is simpler and consistently yields better solutions in less time.  

Implementing this process requires solid engineering skills, but you don't need to be an expert in optimization theory.


Design optimization software built around these principles is also simpler to use, because the workflow for defining, solving and post-processing an optimization study is cleaner, with fewer steps and tricky decisions to make.


Over the next several weeks, I will provide more detail about each of the above principles. In the meantime, be careful with that chainsaw!


Visit the blog  


Optimize Faster with HEEDS PARALLEL 

HEEDS PARALLEL is an optional module for HEEDS MDO that allows you to run your design exploration studies faster. It provides direct integration with many batch queuing software packages including PBS-Pro, OpenPBS, Torque, LSF, Microsoft HPC among others.  


Using PARALLEL you can setup your studies to execute multiple analyses and designs simultaneously for a significant speedup in study runtime. If you don't have a queuing system in place, you can also use our job management system, HEEDS Q.


The main advantages of using HEEDS PARALLEL are:

  1. It allows you to speed up HEEDS MDO studies linearly with additional resources.
  2. It provides a direct interface to batch queuing systems for easy job setup.
  3. It allows you to control analysis execution order by specifying which analysis can be executed together and the ones that need to wait for other analyses to complete. This enables you to make the most efficient use of the available hardware and software resources by managing analysis execution and the number of designs executed simultaneously for each analysis independently.
  4. Finally, if you don't have a queuing system, you can use HEEDS Q to make use of parallelization. HEEDS Q will then manage the simultaneous job submission process over your cluster.

Together, HEEDS MDO and PARALLEL provide the most comprehensive control of your study, allowing you to explore the design space in significantly less time.


Watch the video: HEEDS MDO Parallel Design Evaluation   


April HEEDS User Group Meeting

Please join us for the April NAHUG Meeting


April 27, 2011 

2 p.m. EST


This one-hour Webinar will feature the following presentations:

  • Optimization of Steering Systems - Eduardo Mondragon, NEXTEER
  • Accelerated Concept to Product (ACP) Process - Akbar Farahani, Engineering Technology Associates 
  • Principles of Optimization - Ron Averill, Red Cedar Technology
  • HEEDS MDO 5.4.1 Feature Highlights (including new portals for MSC Adams, SolidWorks and SolidWorks Simulation) - Ranny Sidhu, Red Cedar Technology

We hope you will join us for this interesting and informative Webinar! There is no cost to attend.  


Register now  


HEEDS 101 Training - Register Now!

You've chosen the most powerful optimization software available, and we want to ensure that you get the maximum value from your investment.

HEEDS MDO 101 provides a basic introduction to using HEEDS MDO for parametric optimization studies. Learn how to set up, run, and view the results from a general HEEDS MDO study.

Enjoy a small class size and individualized attention from our expert trainers! Click on a date below for more information:

June 14, 2011 

August 16, 2011

October 11, 2011

December 6, 2011   


We hope you have found this issue informative and interesting. If you have questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us.

The Red Cedar Technology Team

Phone: 1.517.664.1137
Fax: 1.517.664.1175
Email: newsletter@redcedartech.com

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