Conceptual hull design using a genetic algorithm

Lowe, T. W. and Steel, J. (2003). Conceptual hull design using a genetic algorithm. Journal of Ship Research, 47(3) pp. 222–236.



A genetic algorithm is used to search the design variable space of a model ship hull for forms having specified values of various primary and secondary geometric parameters. A representative of each distinct cluster of the forms found is identified and presented as a candidate hull design having the required geometric characteristics. This could form the basis of a prototype conceptual design tool enabling the generation of hull forms satisfying specified requirements. The geometric parameters considered include the displacement, waterline length, waterline beam, and waterplane coefficient together with the locations of the centers of flotation and buoyancy. The hull surface is represented using the partial differential equation method, which permits a wide range of fair hull forms to be accessible using a relatively small number of design variables.

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