PaGMO

A Global Optimisation Toolbox for Massively Parallel Engineering Optimisation. A software platform for global optimisation, called PaGMO, has been developed within the Advanced Concepts Team (ACT) at the European Space Agency, and was recently released as an open-source project. PaGMO is built to tackle high-dimensional global optimisation problems, and it has been successfully used to find solutions to real-life engineering problems among which the preliminary design of interplanetary spacecraft trajectories - both chemical (including multiple flybys and deep-space maneuvers) and low-thrust (limited, at the moment, to single phase trajectories), the inverse design of nano-structured radiators and the design of non-reactive controllers for planetary rovers. Featuring an arsenal of global and local optimisation algorithms (including genetic algorithms, differential evolution, simulated annealing, particle swarm optimisation, compass search, improved harmony search, and various interfaces to libraries for local optimisation such as SNOPT, IPOPT, GSL and NLopt), PaGMO is at its core a C++ library which employs an object-oriented architecture providing a clean and easily-extensible optimisation framework. Adoption of multi-threaded programming ensures the efficient exploitation of modern multi-core architectures and allows for a straightforward implementation of the island model paradigm, in which multiple populations of candidate solutions asynchronously exchange information in order to speed-up and improve the optimisation process. In addition to the C++ interface, PaGMO’s capabilities are exposed to the high-level language Python, so that it is possible to easily use PaGMO in an interactive session and take advantage of the numerous scientific Python libraries available.