Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Fadel, Georges M

Committee Member

Li , Gang

Committee Member

Thompson , Lonny L

Committee Member

Wiecek , Margaret M


A complex engineered system is often decomposed into a number of different subsystems that interact on one another and together produce results not obtainable by the subsystems alone. Effective coordination of the interdependencies shared among these subsystems is critical to fulfill the stakeholder expectations and technical requirements of the original system. The past research has shown that various coordination methods obtain different solution accuracies and exhibit different computational efficiencies when solving a decomposed system. Addressing these coordination decisions may lead to improved complex system design. This dissertation studies coordination methods through two types of decomposition structures, hierarchical, and nonhierarchical.
For coordinating hierarchically decomposed systems, linear and proximal cutting plane methods are applied based on augmented Lagrangian relaxation and analytical target cascading (ATC). Three nonconvex, nonlinear design problems are used to verify the numerical performance of the proposed coordination method and the obtained results are compared to traditional update schemes of subgradient-based algorithm. The results suggest that the cutting plane methods can significantly improve the solution accuracy and computational efficiency of the hierarchically decomposed systems. In addition, a biobjective optimization method is also used to capture optimality and feasibility. The numerical performance of the biobjective algorithm is verified by solving an analytical mass allocation problem.
For coordinating nonhierarchically decomposed complex systems, network target coordination (NTC) is developed by modeling the distributed subsystems as different agents in a network. To realize parallel computing of the subsystems, NTC via a consensus alternating direction method of multipliers is applied to eliminate the use of the master problem, which is required by most distributed coordination methods. In NTC, the consensus is computed using a locally update scheme, providing the potential to realize an asynchronous solution process. The numerical performance of NTC is verified using a geometrical programming problem and two engineering problems.



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