Structural optimization with several discrete design variables per part by outer approximation

Mathias Stolpe*, Kasper Sandal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The article proposes an optimal design approach to minimize the mass of load carrying structures with discrete design variables. The design variables are chosen from catalogues, and several variables are assigned to each part of the structure. This allows for more design freedom than only choosing parts from a catalogue. The problems are modelled as mixed 0–1 nonlinear problems with nonconvex continuous relaxations. An algorithm based on outer approximation is proposed to find optimized designs. The capabilities of the approach are demonstrated by optimal design of a space frame (jacket) structure for offshore wind turbines, with requirements on natural frequencies, strength, and fatigue lifetime.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)2061-2073
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Discrete variables
  • Jacket structures
  • Offshore wind turbines
  • Outer approximation
  • Structural optimization


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