Scalable enforcement of geometric non-interference constraints for gradient-based optimization


Many design optimization problems include constraints to prevent intersection of the geometric shape being optimized with other objects or with domain boundaries. When applying gradient-based optimization to such problems, the constraint function must provide an accurate representation of the domain boundary and be smooth, amenable to numerical differentiation, and fast-to-evaluate for a large number of points. We propose the use of tensor-product B-splines to construct an efficient-to-evaluate level set function that locally approximates the signed distance function for representing geometric non-interference constraints. Adapting ideas from the surface reconstruction methods, we formulate an energy minimization problem to compute the B-spline control points that define the level set function given an oriented point cloud sampled over a geometric shape. Unlike previous explicit non-interference constraint formulations, our method requires an initial setup operation, but results in a more efficient-to-evaluate and scalable representation of geometric non-interference constraints. This paper presents the results of accuracy and scaling studies performed on our formulation. We demonstrate our method by solving a medical robot design optimization problem with non-interference constraints. We achieve constraint evaluation times on the order of 10-6 seconds per point on a modern desktop workstation, and a maximum on-surface error of less than 1.0% of the minimum bounding box diagonal for all examples studied. Overall, our method provides an effective formulation for non-interference constraint enforcement with high computational efficiency for gradient-based design optimization problems whose solutions require at least hundreds of evaluations of constraints and their derivatives.

Optimization and Engineering
Cédric Girerd
Cédric Girerd
CNRS Researcher

My research interests include continuum, soft and inflatable robots for medical application and inspection tasks.