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Knowledge-based re-engineering of legacy programs for robustness in automated design

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2 Author(s)
Keane, J. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ, USA ; Ellman, T.

Systems for automated design optimization of complex real-world objects can, in principle, be constructed by combining domain-independent numerical routines with existing domain-specific analysis and simulation programs. Unfortunately, such “legacy” analysis codes are frequently unsuitable for use in automated design. They may crash for large classes of input, be numerically unstable or locally non-smooth, or be highly sensitive to control parameters. To be useful, analysis programs must be modified to reduce or eliminate only the undesired behaviors, without altering the desired computation. To do this by direct modification of the programs is labor-intensive, and necessitates costly revalidation. We have implemented a high-level language and runtime environment that allow failure-handling strategies to be incorporated into existing Fortran and C analysis programs while preserving their computational integrity. Our approach relies on globally managing the execution of these programs at the level of discretely callable functions so that the computation is only affected when problems are detected. Problem handling procedures are constructed from a knowledge base of generic problem management strategies. We show that our approach is effective in improving analysis program robustness and design optimization performance in the domain of conceptual design of jet engine nozzles

Published in:

Knowledge-Based Software Engineering Conference, 1996., Proceedings of the 11th

Date of Conference:

25-28 Sep 1996