Reliability-based design optimization (RBDO) has been widely used to design engineering products with minimum cost function while meeting defined reliability constraints. Although uncertainties, such as aleatory uncertainty and epistemic uncertainty, have been well considered in RBDO, they are mainly considered for model input parameters. Model uncertainty, i.e., the uncertainty of model bias which indicates the inherent model inadequacy for representing the real physical system, is typically overlooked in RBDO. This paper addresses model uncertainty characterization in a defined product design space and further integrates the model uncertainty into RBDO. In particular, a copula-based bias correction approach is proposed and results are demonstrated by two vehicle design case studies.

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