Applications of automatic differentiation in topology optimization

Sebastian A. Nørgaard, Max Sagebaum, Nicolas R. Gauger, Boyan Stefanov Lazarov

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    The goal of this article is to demonstrate the applicability and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of automatic differentiation in topology optimization. The technique makes it possible to wholly or partially automate the evaluation of derivatives for optimization problems and is demonstrated on two separate, previously published types of problems in topology optimization. Two separate software packages for automatic differentiation, CoDiPack and Tapenade are considered, and their performance and usability trade-offs are discussed and compared to a hand coded adjoint gradient evaluation process. Finally, the resulting optimization framework is verified by applying it to a non-trivial unsteady flow topology optimization problem.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)1135-1146
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Automatic differentiation
    • Lattice Boltzmann
    • Topology optimization


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