A hybrid sensitivity analysis for use in early design


Sensitivity analyses are frequently used during the design of engineering systems to qualify and quantify the effect of parametric variation in the performance of a system. Two primary types of sensitivity analyses are generally used: local and global. Local analyses, generally involving derivative-based measures, have a significantly lower computational burden than global analyses but only provide measures of sensitivity around a nominal point. Global analyses, generally performed with a Monte Carlo sampling approach, and variation-based measures provide a complete description of sensitivity but incur a large computational burden and require information regarding the distributions of the design parameters in a concept. Local analyses are generally suited to the early stages of design when parametric information is limited, and a large number of concepts must be evaluated (necessitating a light computational burden). Global analyses are more suited to the later stages of design when more information about parametric distributions is available and fewer concepts are under consideration. Current derivative-based local approaches provide a different and incompatible set of measures than a global variation-based analysis. This makes a direct comparison of local to global measures ill posed. To reconcile local and global sensitivity analyses, a hybrid local variation-based sensitivity (HyVar) approach is presented. This approach has a similar computational burden to a local approach but produces measures or percentage contributions. The HyVar approach is directly comparable to global variation-based approaches. In this paper, the HyVar sensitivity analysis method is developed in the context of a functional based behavioral modeling framework. An example application of the method is presented along with a summary of results produced from a more comprehensive example. © 2010 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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Journal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME