Can Pareto Fronts meet the splitting condition? Comparing two Generative Design Algorithms based on the variety of design parameters combinations they generate

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Thomas, Maxime (1,2); Nicoletti, Lorenzo (3); Le Masson, Pascal (1); Weil, Benoit (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Mines de Paris; 2: EPF-Ecole d'ingénieurs; 3: Technical University of Munich
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 0827-0836
DOI number:


Generative Design (GD) is a design approach that uses algorithms to generate designs. This paper investigates the role of optimisation algorithms in GD process. We study how Pareto Fronts – a classical optimization algorithm output – help designers to browse the variety associated with a design problem. Thanks to the “splitting condition” from design theory, we show that valuable Pareto Fronts for designers are those that allow the exploration of a variety of design parameters without modifying substantially the performance of the designed solution. We call “Splitting Pareto Front” the Pareto Fronts that display this property and investigate how to generate them. We compare, on an electrical battery design problem, two optimization algorithms – NSGA-II and MAP-Elites – based on the design parameters variety they generate. Our results show that MAP-Elites generates Pareto Fronts that are more splitting than those generated by NSGA-II. We then discuss this result in term of the design process: which algorithm is best suited for which design task? We conclude with the importance for future research on Generative Design Algorithms (GDA) to study jointly the functioning of GDA and their expected contribution to the design process.

Keywords: Generative Design Algorithms, Pareto Front, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Design process, Design theory

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