Concurrent treatment of parametric uncertainty and metamodeling uncertainty in robust design

Siliang Zhang, Ping Zhu*, Wei Chen, Paul Arendt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Robust design is an effective approach to design under uncertainty. Many works exist on mitigating the influence of parametric uncertainty associated with design or noise variables. However, simulation models are often computationally expensive and need to be replaced by metamodels created using limited samples. This introduces the so-called metamodeling uncertainty. Previous metamodel-based robust designs often treat a metamodel as the real model and ignore the influence of metamodeling uncertainty. In this study, we introduce a new uncertainty quantification method to evaluate the compound effect of both parametric uncertainty and metamodeling uncertainty. Then the new uncertainty quantification method is used for robust design. Simplified expressions of the response mean and variance is derived for a Kriging metamodel. Furthermore, the concept of robust design is extended for metamodel-based robust design accounting for both sources of uncertainty. To validate the benefits of our method, two mathematical examples without constraints are first illustrated. Results show that a robust design solution can be misleading without considering the metamodeling uncertainty. The proposed uncertainty quantification method for robust design is shown to be effective in mitigating the effect of metamodeling uncertainty, and the obtained solution is found to be more "robust" compared to the conventional approach. An automotive crashworthiness example, a highly expensive and non-linear problem, is used to illustrate the benefits of considering both sources of uncertainty in robust design with constraints. Results indicate that the proposed method can reduce the risk of constraint violation due to metamodel uncertainty and results in a "safer" robust solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-76
Number of pages14
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Kriging
  • Metamodeling uncertainty
  • Parametric uncertainty
  • Robust design
  • Uncertainty quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Control and Optimization


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