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Proceedings Paper

Mozart, dice, and glass selection
Author(s): John C. Tesar
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Paper Abstract

In a perfect world a good starting point should not be required. A Genetic Algorithm in powerful lens design software should find an optimum solution for us. As a practical matter a good starting point does matter. Time and resources may not be sufficient to generate a good design in a global optimizer quickly. In lens design a small glass catalog combined with the Hammer algorithm in ZEMAX moves the glass selection process in a search around the glass map forcing the design to consider many radically different forms in a short amount of time. From this starting point an expanded search can be undertaken by conventional design methods or in a global search algorithm. There are precedents in other fields for a narrow search method that still yields near infinite numbers of solutions. Mozart invented a game that narrows a search from a blank sheet paper and a set of notes to a single voice minuet by rolling dice. The results can be played and the dynamics manipulated to form the starting points for future compositions. Music composition software has, like lens design software, incorporated many powerful algorithms and search techniques. A simple comparison will be made. It is a long way from a protoplasm to Christie Brinkley. A good starting point means a lot whether you are an optical designer, a composer, or running the universe.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 October 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4092, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization III, (2 October 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.402410
Show Author Affiliations
John C. Tesar, John Tesar & Associates (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4092:
Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization III
Jose M. Sasian, Editor(s)

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