Formulation and integration of MDAO systems for collaborative design: A graph-based methodological approach

Imco van Gent*, Gianfranco La Rocca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
188 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes a novel methodology and its software implementation, called KADMOS (Knowledge- and graph-based Agile Design for Multidisciplinary Optimization System), to increase the agility of design teams in collaborative Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO). Agility here refers to the ease and flexibility to assemble, adjust and reconfigure MDAO computational systems. This is a necessary feature to comply with the complex and iterative nature of the (aircraft) design process. KADMOS has been developed on the notion that a formal specification of an MDAO system is required before proceeding with integration of the executable workflow. A thorough formulation of the system becomes essential when such system is built on the many contributions of large, heterogeneous design teams. KADMOS can automate the generation of such formulations through a graph-based methodological approach. The graph syntax and manipulation algorithms form the core content of this paper. First, a simple MDAO benchmark problem is used to illustrate KADMOS's working principles. Second, a wing aerostructural design case is discussed to demonstrate KADMOS's capabilities to enable collaborative MDAO on large problems of industry-representative complexity. Next to its graph-theoretic foundation, KADMOS makes use of two data schemas: one containing the parametric representation of the product being designed and a second to store the achieved formulation of the MDAO system. The latter enables the interchangeable use of different process integration and design optimization platforms to automatically integrate the generated MDAO system formulation as an executable workflow. The proposed approach has been estimated to be capable of halving the time typically required to set up and iteratively reconfigure a complex MDAO system, while allowing discipline experts and system architects to maintain constant oversight and control of the overall system and its components by means of human-readable dynamic visualizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-433
Number of pages24
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Collaborative design
  • Design tool
  • Graph theory
  • MDAO
  • MDO


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