Topology optimization approaches: A comparative review

Ole Sigmund, Kurt Maute

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Topology optimization has undergone a tremendous development since its introduction in the seminal paper by Bendsøe and Kikuchi in 1988. By now, the concept is developing in many different directions, including “density”, “level set”, “topological derivative”, “phase field”, “evolutionary” and several others. The paper gives an overview, comparison and critical review of the different approaches, their strengths, weaknesses, similarities and dissimilarities and suggests guidelines for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1031-1055
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Structural optimization
  • Topology optimization
  • Density methods
  • Level set methods
  • Phase field methods
  • Topological derivatives

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