Metamodeling techniques are increasingly used in solving computation intensive design optimization problems today. In this work, the issue of automatic identification of appropriate metamodeling techniques in global optimization is addressed. A generic, new hybrid metamodel based global optimization method, particularly suitable for design problems involving computation intensive, black-box analyses and simulations, is introduced. The method employs three representative metamodels concurrently in the search process and selects sample data points adaptively according to the values calculated using the three metamodels to improve the accuracy of modeling. The global optimum is identified when the metamodels become reasonably accurate. The new method is tested using various benchmark global optimization problems and applied to a real industrial design optimization problem involving vehicle crash simulation, to demonstrate the superior performance of the new algorithm over existing search methods. Present limitations of the proposed method are also discussed.

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