Author(s): Gregoire Allaire
A numerical coupling of two recent methods in shape and topology optimization of structures is proposed. On the one hand, the level set method, based on the classical shape derivative, is known to easily handle boundary propagation with topological changes. However, in practice it does not allow for the nucleation of new holes (at least in 2-d). On the other hand, the bubble or topological gradient method is precisely designed for introducing new holes in the optimization process. Therefore, the coupling of these two method yields an efficient algorithm which can escape from local minima in a given topological class of shapes. Both methods rely on the notion of gradient computed through an adjoint analysis, and have a low CPU cost since they capture a shape on a fixed Eulerian mesh. The main advantage of our coupled algorithm is to make the resulting optimal design largely independent of the initial guess.