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Towards a Theory of Experimentation for Expected Improvement

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel D. Frey, Hungjen Wang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2005-85484, pp. 351-363; 13 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5a: 17th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Long Beach, California, USA, September 24–28, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4742-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3766-1
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


This paper concerns the role of experimentation in engineering design, especially the process of making improvements through parameter design. A simple mathematical model is proposed for studying experimentation including a model of adaptive one-factor-at-a-time experimentation. Theorems are proven concerning the expected value of the improvement provided by adaptive experimentation. Theorems are also proven regarding the probability that factor effects will be exploited by the process. The results suggest that adaptive one-factor-at-a-time plans tend to exploit two-factor interactions when they are large or otherwise exploit main effects if interactions are small. As a result, the adaptive process provides around 80% of the improvements achievable via parameter design while exploring a small fraction of the design alternatives (less than 20% if the system has more than five variables).

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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