New Architectures for Multidisciplinary Design and Optimization

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Last Update 10/10/95

Welcome to the home page of the Multidisciplinary Optimization research group. We are part of the Aircraft Aerodynamics and Design Group at Stanford University. Our principal project is supported by the HPCC Program at NASA Langley although this document also serves as the point of departure for other work in MDO supported by NASA Ames Research Center, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and McDonnell Douglas. Comments or questions about this service should be mailed to

What's New?

A list of recent publications by our group is now available.

Reviews of our work under the HPCC program are presented annually at Langley in October. Viewgraphs are available on-line and a summary progress reports are also available. (See reports section below.)

Several papers were presented from this group at the 5th Symposium on Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization. Some are now available on-line.

General announcements may be found at the home page for the entire research group here.


Although a variety of methods for multidisciplinary analysis and design have been developed over the last two decades, many difficulties continue to discourage the use of integrated optimization of large-scale systems involving many analysis disciplines and perhaps hundreds of design variables. Despite advances in database management, planning tools, and improved theoretical foundations for multidisciplinary optimization, the process is complex and time consuming, and is only occasionally adopted by industry for which expediency often does not permit such an integrated approach.

This program of research is aimed at the development of improved methods for multidisciplinary design and optimization of large-scale aeronautical systems. The research involves new approaches to system decomposition, interdisciplinary communication, and methods of exploiting coarse-grained parallelism for analysis and optimization.

The goal of the present work is a substantial extension of multidisciplinary optimization tools and their integration into a new architecture that involves a tight coupling between optimization and analysis. The proposed approach is intended to improve efficiency while simplifying the structure of multidisciplinary, computation-intensive design problems, making such tools more accessible to designers of advanced aerospace vehicles.


This group consists of several people whose web-pages are available here. The entire group can be reached through the alias:

On-Line Technical Reports

[ Aircraft Design Group ] [ Department of Aero/Astro ] [ Stanford ] [ Langley HPCC Projects ]