Optimization of complex systems requires robust and computationally efficient global search algorithms. Constraints make this a very difficult task, significantly slowing down an algorithm, and can even prevent finding the true Pareto front. This study continues the development of a recently proposed repair approach that exploits infeasible designs to increase computational efficiency of a prominent genetic algorithm, and to find a wider spread of the Pareto front. This paper proposes adaptive and automatized discovery of sensitivity of constraints to variables, i.e. the link, which needed direct designer’s input in the previous version of the repair approach. This is achieved by using machine learning in the form of artificial neural networks (ANN). A surrogate model is afterwards utilized in optimization based on ANN. The proposed approach is used for the recently proposed constraint handling implemented into NSGA-II optimization algorithm. The proposed framework is compared with two other constraint handling methods. The performance is analyzed on a structural optimization of a 178 m long chemical tanker which needs to fulfil class society’s criteria for strength. The results show that the proposed framework is competitive in terms of convergence and spread of the front. This is achieved while discovering the link automatically using ANN, without an input from a user. In addition, computational time is reduced by 60%.

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