This work presents a rigorous methodology for expedited simulation-driven multi-objective design of microwave couplers with compact footprints. The proposed approach is a viable alternative for computationally expensive population-based metaheuristics and exploits a surrogate-assisted point-by-point Pareto set determination scheme that utilizes-for the sake of computational efficiency-space-mapping-corrected equivalent circuit models. The technique is showcased using a complex design example of a compact rat-race coupler, for which a set of nine alternative design solutions is efficiently identified. The latter illustrate the best possible trade-offs between conflicting design objectives for the structure at hand, that is, operational bandwidth and layout area. The overall design cost corresponds to approximately twenty high-fidelity electromagnetic simulations of the miniaturized coupler.
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