Key parameters may be used to turn a bad design into a good design with comparatively little effort. The proposed method identifies key parameters in high-dimensional nonlinear systems that are subject to uncertainty. A numerical optimization algorithm seeks a solution space on which all designs are good, that is, they satisfy a specified design criterion. The solution space is box-shaped and provides target intervals for each parameter. A bad design may be turned into a good design by moving its key parameters into their target intervals. The solution space is computed so as to minimize the effort for design work: its shape is controlled by particular constraints such that it can be reached by changing only a small number of key parameters. Wide target intervals provide tolerance against uncertainty, which is naturally present in a design process, when design parameters are unknown or cannot be controlled exactly. In a simple two-dimensional example problem, the accuracy of the algorithm is demonstrated. In a high-dimensional vehicle crash design problem, an underperforming vehicle front structure is improved by identifying and appropriately changing a relevant key parameter.

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