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Information Generation in the Design Process

[+] Author Affiliations
James L. Mathieson, Chiradeep Sen, Joshua D. Summers

Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Paper No. DETC2009-87359, pp. 675-684; 10 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 29th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, August 30–September 2, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4899-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3856-3
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


This paper proposes and demonstrates a protocol for measuring information generated throughout a design process. The intent is to provide a consistent approach to allow the comparison of different design procedures and processes. The proposed method divides the design process into requirement, function, and component domains occurring within design iterations. To measure information or complexity in each of these domains, the elements describing the domains are counted and their mappings within and across the domains are computed. The results show that the proposed protocol and information metrics produce data points of comparable order across all domains under different design situations. Furthermore, it is shown that within-domain-coupling and across-domain-coupling metrics should be accommodate the continual increase in element count size without hiding relative changes in information generation throughout the process. When this correction is applied, it is observed that across-domain-coupling displays a decaying process of converging and diverging towards a steady state level. This presents possible support for the concepts of modeling the design process as a series of convergent and divergent processes while also suggesting that such oscillation may not be necessary.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Design



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