Reliability-based optimal design and tolerancing for multibody systems using explicit design space decomposition

Henry Arenbeck, Samy Missoum, Anirban Basudha, Parviz Nikravesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This paper introduces a new approach for the optimal geometric design and tolerancing of multibody systems. The approach optimizes both the nominal system dimensions and the associated tolerances by solving a reliability-based design optimization (RDBO) problem under the assumption of truncated normal distributions of the geometric properties. The solution is obtained by first constructing the explicit boundaries of the failure regions (limit state function) using a support vector machine, combined with adaptive sampling and uniform design of experiments. The use of explicit boundaries enables the treatment of systems with discontinuous or binary behaviors. The explicit boundaries also allow for an efficient calculation of the probability of failure using importance sampling. The probability of failure is subsequently approximated over the whole design space (the nominal system dimensions and the associated tolerances), thus making the solution of the RBDO problem straightforward. The proposed approach is applied to the optimization of a web cutter mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210101-2101011
Number of pages1890911
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Design of experiments
  • Multibody systems
  • Reliability-based design optimization
  • Support vector machines
  • Tolerancing
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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