Graph-based algorithms and data-driven documents for formulation and visualization of large MDO systems

Benedikt Aigner*, Imco van Gent, Gianfranco La Rocca, Eike Stumpf, Leo L.M. Veldhuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


A new system is presented that enables the visualization of large multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) problems and their solution strategy. It was developed within the scope of the European project AGILE. In AGILE, collaborative MDO is performed in large, heterogeneous teams of experts by solving MDO problems using a collection of design and analysis tools. This paper focuses on the visualizations required to support the formulation phase of an MDO project. The Knowledge and graph-based AGILE Design for Multidisciplinary Optimization System (KADMOS), an open-source MDO support system developed by Delft University of Technology, uses graph-based analysis to formulate an MDO problem and its solution strategy, based on the disciplinary analyses available in a repository. The results of KADMOS are stored in the standardized format CMDOWS (Common MDO Workflow Schema), which comprises the entire information on an MDO system. Although, based on Extensible Markup Language, the readability of the CMDOWS file is quite poor also for MDO experts, especially for large MDO systems involving thousands of variables. Providing visualization capabilities to thoroughly inspect the outcome of the different MDO formulation steps becomes a key factor to enable the specification of large MDO systems in a heterogeneous team. Therefore, VISTOMS (VISualization TOol for MDO Systems), a dynamic visualization package, was developed by RWTH Aachen University to enable the visualization and inspection of the different MDO system specification steps, thereby removing one of the main hurdles for using MDO as a development process. The developed visualization capabilities are demonstrated by means of an aerostructural wing design optimization project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-709
Number of pages15
JournalCEAS Aeronautical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • MDO
  • Visualization


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