Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Shiyan Hu


Combinatorial optimization is a complex engineering subject. Although formulation often depends on the nature of problems that differs from their setup, design, constraints, and implications, establishing a unifying framework is essential. This dissertation investigates the unique features of three important optimization problems that can span from small-scale design automation to large-scale power system planning: (1) Feeder remote terminal unit (FRTU) planning strategy by considering the cybersecurity of secondary distribution network in electrical distribution grid, (2) physical-level synthesis for microfluidic lab-on-a-chip, and (3) discrete gate sizing in very-large-scale integration (VLSI) circuit.

First, an optimization technique by cross entropy is proposed to handle FRTU deployment in primary network considering cybersecurity of secondary distribution network. While it is constrained by monetary budget on the number of deployed FRTUs, the proposed algorithm identi?es pivotal locations of a distribution feeder to install the FRTUs in different time horizons. Then, multi-scale optimization techniques are proposed for digital micro?uidic lab-on-a-chip physical level synthesis. The proposed techniques handle the variation-aware lab-on-a-chip placement and routing co-design while satisfying all constraints, and considering contamination and defect. Last, the first fully polynomial time approximation scheme (FPTAS) is proposed for the delay driven discrete gate sizing problem, which explores the theoretical view since the existing works are heuristics with no performance guarantee. The intellectual contribution of the proposed methods establishes a novel paradigm bridging the gaps between professional communities.