UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A Study of a special purpose automatic optimizer Wright, William Lawrence

Abstract

Small special purpose digital computers (SPDG) could be used to control processes for which the cost of general purpose digital, computers is prohibitive. This thesis describes a SPDC to optimize a process for which an exact mathematical model does not exist. The SPDC could use any of the empirical or trial and error methods originally designed for hand calculations or for use on a large general purpose digital computer. The methods discussed in this thesis are gradient search, direct search and random search. The overall operation of a SPDC is described in detail using logic block symbols. From the knowledge gained in building and testing the computer, improvements in circuitry and search strategy are suggested. The logic and circuitry used in a SPDC depend on the nature of the process to be controlled. This is illustrated in the thesis by the description of the optimization of a flotation process.

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