VisualDOC is a general purpose multidisciplinary design, optimization, and process integration software. It is a tool for design process definition, integration, execution, and automation. The design modules included are Optimization, Design of Experiments, Response Surface Approximation, and Probabilistic (Robust and Reliability-based) Analysis. It can be used to add these modules to almost any analysis program.
General multidisciplinary design, optimization, and process integration with design process definition, integration, execution and automation
Includes Optimization, Design of Experiments, Response Surface Approximation, Probabilistic (Robust and Reliability-based) Analysis
VisualDOC allows the user to graphically create a connected workflow of components and define each component in the flowchart appropriately. It’s features include comprehensive concurrent monitoring and visualization tools, storage and reuse of generated simulation data for post-processing, full debugging support for model execution, and the ability to interactively inspect and monitor the design process.
VisualDOC can integrate with Excel, MATLAB, various CAE software, and user-defined libraries and executables. Scripting support (via python) is included in VisualDOC. It also supports batch-mode execution and provides programmatic access to all the included design modules. VisualDOC API can be used to embed the included design algorithms into user's own program. The API is provided with interfaces for Fortran, C, and C++.
Add optimization and/or other design module to virtually and CAE analysis software
Define your design process as a flowchart (natural and intuitive interface)
Combine analysis and simulation data from multiple disciplines
Perform various trade-off studies and identify important design parameters
Share information and data for better decision making
Large data support
Powerful and comprehensive Simulation Data Management (SDM) capability
VisualDOC can perform linear, non-linear, constrained and unconstrained, as well as integer, discrete and mixed optimization. The optimization types available in VisualDOC include: Gradient-based, Non-gradient-based, Response Surface Optimization, and Reliability-based design optimization. Multi-objective optimization is also available in VisualDOC.
Direct Gradient-based Optimization (DGO): VisualDOC calls DOT and BIGDOT to perform gradient-based optimization. The following optimization algorithms are included.
Modified Method of Feasible Direction (MMFD)
Sequential Linear Programming (SLP)
Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP)
Sequential Unconstrained Optimization (BIGDOT)
Broydon Fletcher Goldfarb Shanno (BFGS)
Non-gradient based optimization (NGO): VisualDOC includes state-of-the-art non-gradient based optimization methods. These methods attempt to emulate the natural phenomenon by modeling the optimization process such that it can be mapped to the entities of the natural process in an abstract sense. The following non-gradient-based optimization methods are included.
Particle swarm optimization (PSO)
Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGAII)
Multi-objective Optimization: In VisualDOC, the user can easily generate a Pareto-optimal (PO) front with NSGA-II or any other optimization method. To generate a PO front with single-objective optimization algorithms, scalarization using methods such as weighted-sum, ε-constraint, or compromise programming can be performed, and VisualDOC systematically varies the weight/ε-value/targets to generate the entire PO front.
Design of Experiments (DOE)
With Design of Experiments module, the user can create an experimental design, construct the response surface model for this design, and analyze the characteristics of the design and the approximate model. The user can also use the generated approximate model optimization or other tasks.
Available DOE Methods
- Factorial Design
- Central Composite Design
- Box-Behnken Design
- Koshal Design
- Standard Latin Hypercube Design
- Optimal Latin Hypercube Design
- Taguchi Design
- Simplex Design
- Random Design
- User Defined design points
- D-Optimal Design
Response Surface Approximation Optimization (RSA)
The RSA component combines Optimization (OPT), Design of Experiments (DOE), and Response Surface Modeling (RSM) to improve optimization efficiency. The approximation is used as a surrogate for the underlying computationally expensive analyses and is incrementally refined as the optimization proceeds. The user can choose the DOE technique, the optimization algorithm, and the approximation model to use with the RSA component.
Available Approximation Models
- Mixed: Linear + Interaction
- Mixed: Linear + Quadratic
- Full Quadratic
- Forward Stepwise Regression
Probabilistic Analysis and Optimization
This component can be used to perform probabilistic analysis and optimization. A deterministic analysis (or any subflow) can be easily converted to probabilistic analysis by wrapping it inside a probabilistic component. This component adds uncertainties to the selected inputs and all the responses. The user can perform various kinds of non-deterministic analyses such as reliability-based optimization, robust optimization, n-sigma design, etc.
Virtually any analysis program/software can be coupled to VisualDOC. VisualDOC provides several components to facilitate such coupling. The following process integration capabilities are available.
- Import/Export components in/out of VisualDOC
- Direct communication with MS-Excel and Matlab
- Read/Write almost any fixed or free formatted ASCII text file
- Launch external analysis programs (e.g. Genesis, LS-Dyna, etc.)
- Run user-defined scripts (shell script, python, windows batch file, etc.)
- Link with user-defined exectuables and libraries
- Import/Reuse/Export simulation data
- Transfer data from one component to another (link inputs and outputs)
- Link algorithm parameters to input/output of other components
- Multi-level design studies (e.g. system and sub-system level optimization for MDO)
VisualDOC provides real-time visual feedback for model execution. It provides a large number of options and facilities to define, control, automate, and inspect model execution. A partial list of model execution facilities is as follows.
- Real-time visual feedback: Highlights the component that is currently running
- All the simulation data shown anywhere updated in real-time
- Cyclic/conditional execution of the VisualDOC model
- Execute individual components or only a part of a sub-flow
- Batch-mode execution: run a simulation unattended
- Extremely powerful debugging support
- Add/remove/enable/disable breakpoints
- Start/Stop/Pause/Continue a simulation
- Step-by-step execution (interactive)
Remote Run: VisualDOC allows the user to run itself on the local host computer, and perform the expensive analysis on another remote computer. Running the analysis on a remote computer is accomplished via ssh protocal. The local computer where the VisualDOC GUI runs must have a ssh client, while the remote computer where the analysis runs, must run a ssh server. VisualDOC takes care of copying input/ouput files to/from the remote computer, setting up the necessary environment for the user's analysis program to run, etc.
Simulation Monitors and Post-processing
VisualDOC provides comprehensive simultion monitoring capability that is completely independent of model execution. The simulation monitors do not in any way affect the progress of a simulation. The simulation monitors and post processors can be used to display, analyze, and explore the simulation results. Any number of simulation monitors can be added before, during, or after a simulation. The monitors primarily consist of textual reports, tabular data, and graphical visualization. A large number of plot types are supported (e.g. 2D, 3D, line, scatter, surface, frequency, correlation, matrix, etc.). The post-processors are run only after a simulation has finished. The post-processors primarily consist of summary reports, design point tables, and interactive viewers (2D and 3D approximation viewer, parallel coordinates chart, etc.).
2D Plots Scatter Chart
3D Approximation Viewer Parallel Plot