Abstract

There is a need to explore methods for reducing lengthly computer turnaround or clock time associated with engineering design problems. Different strategies can be employed to reduce this turnaround time. One strategy is the use of a supercomputer, which can be costly in terms of hardware acquisition and software modification. Another strategy is to run validated analysis software on a network of existing smaller computers so that portions of the computation can be done in parallel. This paper focuses on the implementation of this second strategy using two types of problems. The first type is a traditional structural design optimization problem, which is characterized by a simple data flow and a complicated analysis. The second type of problem uses an existing computer program designed to study multilevel optimization techniques. This problem is characterized by complicated data flow and a simple analysis. The paper shows that distributed computing can be a viable means for reducing computational turnaround time for engineering design problems that lend themselves to decomposition. Parallel computing can be accomplished with a minimal cost in terms of hardware and software.

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