A directional Gaussian smoothing optimization method for computational inverse design in nanophotonics

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Jiaxin Zhang*, Sirui Bi, and Guannan Zhang. "A directional Gaussian smoothing optimization method for computational inverse design in nanophotonics." Materials & Design (2020): 109213.


Local-gradient-based optimization approaches lack nonlocal exploration ability required for escaping from local minima in non-convex landscapes. A directional Gaussian smoothing (DGS) approach was proposed in our recent work and used to define a truly nonlocal gradient, referred to as the DGS gradient, in order to enable nonlocal exploration in high-dimensional black-box optimization. Promising results show that replacing the traditional local gradient with the nonlocal DGS gradient can significantly improve the performance of gradient-based methods in optimizing highly multi-modal loss functions. However, the current DGS method is designed for unbounded and unconstrained optimization problems, making it inapplicable to real-world engineering design optimization problems where the tuning parameters are often bounded and the loss function is usually constrained by physical processes. In this work, we propose to extend the DGS approach to the constrained inverse design framework in order to find a better design. The proposed framework has its advantages in portability and flexibility to naturally incorporate the parameterization, physics simulation, and objective formulation together to build up an effective inverse design workflow. A series of adaptive strategies for smoothing radius and learning rate updating are developed to improve the computational efficiency and robustness. To enable a clear binarized design, a dynamic growth mechanism is imposed on the projection strength in parameterization. The methodology is demonstrated by an example of wavelength demultiplexer. Our method shows superior performance compared to the state-of-the-art approaches. By incorporating volume constraints, the optimized design achieves an equivalently high performance but significantly reduces the amount of material usage.

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Last Updated: November 11, 2020 - 5:02 pm