Global stochastic optimization of stellarator coil configurations

Silke Glas*, Padidar, Kellison, Bindel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


In the construction of a stellarator, the manufacturing and assembling of the coil system is a dominant cost. These coils need to satisfy strict engineering tolerances, and if those are not met the project could be cancelled as in the case of the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX) project (R.L. Orbach, 2008, Therefore, our goal is to find coil configurations that increase construction tolerances without compromising the performance of the magnetic field. In this paper, we develop a gradient-based stochastic optimization model which seeks robust stellarator coil configurations in high dimensions. In particular, we design a two-step method: first, we perform an approximate global search by a sample efficient trust-region Bayesian optimization; second, we refine the minima found in step one with a stochastic local optimizer. To this end, we introduce two stochastic local optimizers: BFGS applied to the sample average approximation; and Adam, equipped with a control variate for variance reduction. Numerical simulations performed on a W7-X-like coil configuration demonstrate that our global optimization approach finds a variety of promising local solutions at less than 0.1% of the cost of previous work, which considered solely local stochastic optimization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number905880208
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


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