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Improving problem definition through interactive evolutionary computation

Parmee, Ian

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Ian Parmee


Poor definition and uncertainty are primary characteristics of conceptual design processes. During the initial stages of these generally human-centric activities, little knowledge pertaining to the problem at hand may be available. The degree of problem definition will depend on information available in terms of appropriate variables, constraints, and both quantitative and qualitative objectives. Typically, the problem space develops with information gained in a dynamical process in which design optimization plays a secondary role, following the establishment of a sufficiently well-defined problem domain. This paper concentrates on background human-computer interaction relating to the machine-based generation of high-quality design information that, when presented in an appropriate manner to the designer, supports a better understanding of a problem domain. Knowledge gained from such information combined with the experiential knowledge of the designer can result in a reformulation of the problem, providing increased definition and greater confidence in the machine-based representation. Conceptual design domains related to gas turbine blade cooling systems and a preliminary air frame configuration are introduced. These are utilized to illustrate the integration of interactive evolutionary strategies that support the extraction of optimal design information, its presentation to the designer, and subsequent human-based modification of the design domain based on knowledge gained from the information received. An experimental iterative designer or evolutionary search process resulting in a better understanding of the problem and improved machine-based representation of the design domain is thus established.


Parmee, I. (2002). Improving problem definition through interactive evolutionary computation. AI EDAM, 16(3), 185-202.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2002
Deposit Date Jan 22, 2010
Publicly Available Date Feb 9, 2016
Journal Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing: AIEDAM
Print ISSN 0890-0604
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 3
Pages 185-202
Keywords interactive evolutionary computation, interactive evolutionary design, problem definition, iInformation extraction, processing, presentation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This article © Cambridge University Press 2002. Paper developed from Plenary presentation by author at Int. Conf. on Evolutionary Multi-objective Optimisation, Zurich, 2001. It presents concepts/hypotheses behind development of Interactive Evolutionary Design Systems and illustrates these via extensive results from research re various system component interaction with each other and with the user. Identified areas requiring further research set the scene for more recent ACDDM work expanding both utility of approach whilst investigating and implementing novel user-centric computational intelligence systems for early stage design. AIEDAM is a leading engineering journal specialising in Intelligent Systems for design and manufacture. Long standing journal with an excellent international reputation.


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