Shape Design Optimization
Aerodynamic shape design optimization can be classified as two categories: inverse design and direct design. Inverse design requires specification of target pressure or velocity distribution on the surface of an body, of which the success highly depends on the experience of the designer. Direct design can be further classified into gradient-based methods and global search methods. Gradient-based methods will reach a local optimum design, while global search methods can in theory reach a global optimum. But the cost of global search methods is prohibitively huge with a large number of design variables.