On the usefulness of non-gradient approaches in topology optimization

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Topology optimization is a highly developed tool for structural design and is by now being extensively used in mechanical, automotive and aerospace industries throughout the world. Gradient-based topology optimization algorithms may efficiently solve fine-resolution problems with thousands and up to millions of design variables using a few hundred (finite element) function evaluations (and even less than 50 in some commercial codes). Nevertheless, non-gradient topology optimization approaches that require orders of magnitude more function evaluations for extremely low resolution examples keep appearing in the literature. This forum article discusses the practical and scientific relevance of publishing papers that use immense computational resources for solving simple problems for which there already exist efficient solution techniques.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)589-596
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Discrete optimization
  • Topology optimization
  • Stochastic optimization
  • Generic algorithms


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