### Refine

#### Year of publication

- 2016 (3)

#### Document Type

- Book chapter (3)

#### Language

- English (3)

#### Has full text

- yes (3)

#### Is part of the Bibliography

- yes (3)

#### Institute

- Technik (3)

#### Publisher

- Springer (3)

In this chapter we introduce methods to improve mechanical designs by bionic methods. In most cases we assume that a general idea of the part or system is given by a set of data or parameters. Our task is to modify these free parameters so that a given goal or objective is optimized without violation of any of the existing restrictions.

We have seen that bionic optimization can be a powerful tool when applied to problems with non-trivial landscapes of goals and restrictions. This, in turn, led us to a discussion of useful methodologies for applying this optimization to real problems. On the other hand, it must be stated that each optimization is a time consuming process as soon as the problem expands beyond a small number of free parameters related to simple parabolic responses. Bionic optimization is not a quick approach to solving complex questions within short times. In some cases it has the potential to fail entirely, either by sticking to local maxima or by random exploration of the parameter space without finding any promising solutions. The following sections present some remarks on the efficiency and limitations users must be aware of. They aim to increase the knowledge base of using and encountering bionic optimization. But they should not discourage potential users from this promising field of powerful strategies to find good or even the best possible designs.

To illustrate the power and the pitfalls of Bionic Optimization, we will show some examples spanning classes of applications and employing various strategies. These applications cover a broad range of engineering tasks. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that our experiences and our examples will be sufficient to deal with all questions and issues in a comprehensive way. As general rule it might be stated, that for each class of problems, novices should begin with a learning phase. So, in this introductory phase, we use simple and quick examples, e.g., using small FE-models, linear load cases, short time intervals and simple material models. Here beginners within the Bionic Optimization community can learn which parameter combinations to use. In Sect. 3.3 we discuss strategies for optimization study acceleration. Making use of these parameters as starting points is one way to set the specific ranges, e.g., number of parents and kids, crossing, mutation radii and, numbers of generations. On the other hand, these trial runs will doubtless indicate that Bionic Optimization needs large numbers of individual designs, and considerable time and computing power. We recommend investing enough time preparing each task in order to avoid the frustration should large jobs fail after long calculation times.