Ott 292022

1° semester

Lecturers Luigi Fenu and Eleonora Congiu



  • Luigi Fenu, DICAAR, Università degli Studi di Cagliari
  • Eleonora Congiu, DICAAR, Università degli Studi di Cagliari

Duration: 15 hours

Starting date: 20 February 2022




Course Summary

Structural optimization has now entered professional practice, but it has a consolidated scientific basis. The course retraces the techniques of structural optimization from their analytical foundations to current technical and design applications based on evolutionary algorithms.

While introducing the use of some typical tools of mathematical analysis, the course uses a heuristic approach that allows to maintain a typically engineering approach aimed at understanding the ways of introducing more complex real design problems with numerous design variables and constraints to be solved with evolutionary algorithms.

Some examples of structural optimization based on the search for maxima and minima (constrained or not) of multi-variable functions will introduce the course. An introduction to variational calculus will follow, showing how to deal with some structural optimization problems (constrained and not) through variational analysis.

Some zero-order heuristic methods have been introduced to search for the maximums or minimums of an objective function, and finally the evolutionary algorithms are introduced with some applications of the use of “simulated annealing” and genetic algorithms.




20 February 2023

(h. 9.00-10.00)

Opening lecture

(h. 10.00-12.00)

  1. Mathematical analysis and structural optimization.
  2. Unconstrained and constrained structural optimization using differential calculus:

Introduction to variational calculus.

  1. Case studies


21 February 2023

(h. 09.00-12.00)

  1. Unconstrained and constrained structural optimization using variational calculus.
  2. Case studies

22 February 2023

(h. 09.00-12.00)

  1. Structural optimization with isoperimetric conditions and variable end-points.
  2. Case studies.


23 February 2023

(h. 09.00-12.00)

  1. Stochastic Methods: Metaheuristic approaches for structural optimization problems
  2. Trajectory-based Algorithms
  3. Random Search Methods
  4. Simulated Annealing (SA)
  5. Case studies.


24 February 2023

(h. 09.00-12.00)

  1. Population-based Algorithms: Evolutionary Algorithms
  2. Genetic Algorithms (GA)
  3. Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO)
  4. Case studies.





How to register

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Bibliography and Web references

Bibliography will be suggested during the course


Other teaching materials

Slides of the course




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