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Real-time topology optimization via learnable mappings

Gabriel GarayaldeMatteo TorzoniMatteo BruggiAlberto Corigliano
Nov 2023
In traditional topology optimization, the computing time required to iteratively update the material distribution within a design domain strongly depends on the complexity or size of the problem, limiting its application in real engineering contexts. This work proposes a multi-stage machine learning strategy that aims to predict an optimal topology and the related stress fields of interest, either in 2D or 3D, without resorting to any iterative analysis and design process. The overall topology optimization is treated as regression task in a low-dimensional latent space, that encodes the variability of the target designs. First, a fully-connected model is employed to surrogate the functional link between the parametric input space characterizing the design problem and the latent space representation of the corresponding optimal topology. The decoder branch of an autoencoder is then exploited to reconstruct the desired optimal topology from its latent representation. The deep learning models are trained on a dataset generated through a standard method of topology optimization implementing the solid isotropic material with penalization, for varying boundary and loading conditions. The underlying hypothesis behind the proposed strategy is that optimal topologies share enough common patterns to be compressed into small latent space representations without significant information loss. Results relevant to a 2D Messerschmitt-B\"olkow-Blohm beam and a 3D bridge case demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed framework to provide accurate optimal topology predictions in a fraction of a second.
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