Computation-intensive design problems are becoming increasingly common in manufacturing industries. The computation burden is often caused by expensive analysis and simulation processes in order to reach a comparable level of accuracy as physical testing data. To address such a challenge, approximation or metamodeling techniques are often used. Metamodeling techniques have been developed from many different disciplines including statistics, mathematics, computer science, and various engineering disciplines. These metamodels are initially developed as “surrogates” of the expensive simulation process in order to improve the overall computation efficiency. They are then found to be a valuable tool to support a wide scope of activities in modern engineering design, especially design optimization. This work reviews the state-of-the-art metamodel-based techniques from a practitioner’s perspective according to the role of metamodeling in supporting design optimization, including model approximation, design space exploration, problem formulation, and solving various types of optimization problems. Challenges and future development of metamodeling in support of engineering design is also analyzed and discussed.

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