Optimization Software Guide


Commercial software for design optimization have become powerful and versatile tools. A course in design optimization should expose the students to state-of-the-art software as well as to the mathematics behind them. In the ODE Laboratory we maintain an “ODE Toolkit” that includes short introductions to various alogithms and software packages. We have found these introductions to be useful in lowering the barrier of entry for students who are completely new to the field. Most packages today have very good online users manuals and they should be consulted. Software companies also offer frequent webcasts with introductions to their products and their use.

Note that these guides are periodically updated and may not reflect the most recent version of commercial software.

ODE Toolkit

The ODE Toolkit contains beginner’s guides for the following optimization codes.
[Click to Download] (751 KByte)

  • Excel — Continuous and discrete optimization within Microsoft’s spreadsheet package
  • MATLAB/FMINCON — Sequential Quadratic Programming in MATLAB
  • DIRECT — Derivative-free algorithm in MATLAB.
    [Source Code] (30.9 KByte)
  • Simulated Annealing — Stochastic derivative-free algorithm in MATLAB.
    [Source Code] (7.29 KByte)
  • NOMADm — Nonlinear Optimization for Mixed vAriables and Derivatives in MATLAB.[Link]
  • Optimus by Noesis Solutions — a GUI-based software package, which includes SQP, GRG, and Kriging, and many other features.
  • iSIGHT by Engineous Software — MOST, SQP, LSGRG2 and others in a GUI-based package with many other features.

MATLAB Manuals and Source Codes

These MATLAB Manuals provide a general introduction to some of the most useful features of MATLAB.

  • MATLAB Introduction
    A document by M. S. Gockenbach (Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan).
    [Click to Download] (244 KByte)
  • MATLAB Primer
    A document by K. Sigmon (Department of Mathematics, University of Florida).
    [Click to Download] (272 KByte)

iSIGHT Manuals and Excel Add-in

iSIGHT manages the computer software required to execute simulation-based design processes, including commercial CAD/CAE software, internally developed programs, and Excel spreadsheets. Includes also DOE and metamodeling capabilities.

  • iSIGHT Manual
    iSIGHT 8.0 Manual by Engineous Software, Inc. contains User’s Guide, Supplement Collection, MDOL Reference Guide, Error Codes and Message Reference Guide, and Reference Guide.
    [Click to Download] (13.6 MByte)
  • iSIGHT Presentation
    A Presentation Document by Dr. Mike Sheh about iSight and Industrial Applications.
    [Click to Download] (768 KByte)
  • iSIGHT Excel Add-in
    Only applicable for iSight 8.0 or later
    [Click to Download] (264 KByte)


OPTIMUS makes digital prototyping possible and practical. The OPTIMUS package easily captures your current simulation processes. It automatically explores the design space using Design of Experiments (DOE) and Response Surface Modeling (RSM) techniques, giving you insight into the variations of a design and the related trade-offs.

  • OPTIMUS Manual
    OPTIMUS Revision 4.0 Manual by Noesis Solutions, Inc. contains Preface, Contents, Release Notes, Process Overview, Introduction, Running LMS OPTIMUS, Graphical User Interface, Commands, Getting Started, Tutorial, and Index.
    [Click to Download] (13.6 MByte)

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