Aspects of Optimization-Based CADCS.
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With the recent dramatic increase in available computing power, numerical optimization has become an attractive tool for the design of complex engineering systems. Yet, generalized use of numerical optimization techniques in design has been hindered by (i) the difficulty to translate in a faithful manner the actual design problem into any kind of rigid mathematical optimization problem, (ii) the inability of classical optimization tools to efficiently take into account the many distinctive features of optimization problems arising in a design context, and (iii) the unavailability of software tools offering to the designer a powerful as well as congenial environment supporting such capabilities. In this paper, some aspects of these questions are touched upon and avenues are suggested to address them. In particular, a recently proposed interaction driven design methodology is briefly described and numerical optimization schemes satisfying two specific requirements of many design problems are sketched. As an example, the design of a controller for a copolymerization reactor using the Maryland developed CONSOLE system is considered.