Sensitivity filtering from a continuum mechanics perspective

Ole Sigmund, Kurt Maute

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In topology optimization filtering is a popular approach for preventing numerical instabilities. This short note shows that the well-known sensitivity filtering technique, that prevents checkerboards and ensures mesh-independent designs in density-based topology optimization, is equivalent to minimizing compliance for nonlocal elasticity problems known from continuum mechanics. Hence, the note resolves the long-standing quest for finding an explanation and physical motivation for the sensitivity filter.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)471-475
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Topology optimization
  • Regularization
  • Filtering


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