Hill Climbing is a technique used in the Design of Experiments to find the process settings that give the maximum/minimum response.
The procedure for hill climbing is:
- carry out an initial experiment and, if it does not contain the [maximum/minimum],
- find the path of steepest [ascent/descent]
- carry out a test at intervals point along the path until it starts to [ascend/descend]
- carry out an experiment around the highest point on the path to see if it is the [maximum/minimum]
- if not find the path of steepest ascent, and continue the search
As long as the curvature is not significant the experiments may be first order designs with center points. When the curvature becomes significant, near the optimum, switch to Response Surface Designs.