The design step of multibody systems requires in some specific cases an optimization process, in order to determine the set of parameters which lead to optimal kinematic or dynamic performances. The aim of this paper is to propose an optimal design method adapted to general multibody systems and submitted to kinematic and/or dynamic time-dependent criteria. The optimization process is based on stochastic techniques referred to genetic algorithms, which are inspired from natural evolution and can often overtop classical optimization methods when applied to practical problems. Illustrative examples are given in the context of the optimization of the kinematics of a motorcar suspension and the lateral dynamics of an urban railway vehicle.

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