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Facilitating Meta-Design via Separation of Problem, Product, and Process Information

[+] Author Affiliations
Jitesh H. Panchal, Marco Gero Fernández, Janet K. Allen, Christian J. J. Paredis, Farrokh Mistree

Georgia Institute of Technology

Paper No. IMECE2005-80013, pp. 49-62; 14 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Computers and Information in Engineering
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4214-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Different products necessitate different design processes. Determining which such process is most appropriate for a particular product, in turn, requires its delineation before the design of the product under consideration. The phase where design processes are composed is called meta-design. Despite its importance, current simulation-based design frameworks such as FIPER, ModelCenter, and iSIGHT do not support meta-design. This oversight can be attributed at least in part to the fact that these frameworks capture information about products, design processes, and the associated tools in a lumped fashion. Processes are captured in terms of the specific tools employed and the product information, associated with their use, thereby restricting the re-utilization (i.e., reuse via adaptation or customization) of instantiated processes for designing different products. This inherent inability to separate product and process information hinders the exploration of different design process options for designing a product at a fundamental level, thereby restricting meta-design. In order to address this challenge, we propose an approach for distinctly capturing and processing three key components of design related information - a) design problem, b) design process, and c)product. We term this approach, rooted in decision-based design, modularity, and separation of declarative and procedural information, 3-P. The modular separation of information associated with problem, product, and process enables designers to utilize existing knowledge, captured in the form of pre-defined process configurations, for more effectively designing a given product. The proposed approach facilitates the efficient exploration and reconfiguration of design processes, furnishing a much needed and essential basis for meta-design.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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