Early in the engineering design cycle, it is difficult to quantify product reliability or compliance to performance targets due to insufficient data or information to model uncertainties. Probability theory can not be therefore, used. Design decisions are usually, based on fuzzy information that is vague, imprecise qualitative, linguistic or incomplete. Recently, evidence theory has been proposed to handle uncertainty with limited information as an alternative to probability theory. In this paper, a computationally efficient design optimization method is proposed based on evidence theory, which can handle a mixture of epistemic and random uncertainties. It quickly identifies the vicinity of the optimal point and the active constraints by moving a hyper-ellipse in the original design space, using a reliability-based design optimization (RBDO) algorithm. Subsequently, a derivative-free optimizer calculates the evidence-based optimum, starting from the close-by RBDO optimum, considering only the identified active constraints. The computational cost is kept low by first moving to the vicinity of the optimum quickly and subsequently using local surrogate models of the active constraints only. Two examples demonstrate the proposed evidence-based design optimization method.

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