Chapter 15
Multiobjective Decision-Making Using Physical Programming


Engineering design is an iterative process, where several design alternatives are analyzed to obtain the design that satisfactorily performs a desired task. Traditionally, design approaches have relied more on the intuition and past experience of the designer and less on sound scientific or engineering principles to perform this iterative process of analyzing and choosing the best design.

In recent years, the field of engineering design has witnessed a significant evolution, promoted largely by an exponential growth in the computational resources available to a designer. Moreover, with increasing global competition, designs are required not only to be functional, but also cost-effective, efficient and innovative. With numerous factors judging the desirability of a design, the designer cannot solely rely on the traditional design approach of manually choosing the best design.

The advances in computer technology and the high performance needs of the aerospace industry, coupled with increasing global competition, have fueled the development of the field of optimal design. The optimal design approach provides the necessary mathematical and analytical tools required to systematically and rapidly examine various design alternatives, and select what some may consider the best design. Optimal design approaches typically use computer-based numerical optimization techniques to maximize or minimize a measure of the system performance, subject to certain design constraints.

  • 15.1 Introduction
  • 15.2 Basics of Optimization
  • 15.3 Multiobjective Optimization
  • 15.4 Formulation of Aggregate Objective Functions
  • 15.5 Introducing Physical Programming
  • 15.6 Linear Physical Programming
  • 15.7 Nonlinear Physical Programming
  • 15.8 Comparison of the GP and LPP Methods
  • 15.9 Example
  • 15.10 Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • Problems
  • Appendix

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