Bentley, Peter J. and Wakefield, Jonathan P. (1997) Conceptual Evolutionary Design by a Genetic Algorithm. Engineering design and automation, 3 (2). pp. 119-131. ISSN 1077-2642

This paper describes a prototype design system which uses a genetic algorithm to evolve new conceptual designs from scratch (i.e. without the input of preliminary designs). The system is applied to a set of design tasks which are 'hard' for a genetic algorithm: the design of optical prisms. These demonstration problems consist of the generation of appropriate geometries for optical prisms to allow light to be directed through them according to various design specifications. Despite the deceptive nature of the problem for evolutionary search, the system is shown to create numerous types of prism successfully, either performing the whole
design process entirely itself, or assembling
new designs out of smaller, previously evolved

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