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A Grammar for Function Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Prasanna Sridharan, Matthew I. Campbell

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Paper No. DETC2004-57130, pp. 41-55; 15 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 16th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


This paper presents a combination of two design methodologies: function structures and graph grammars. The objective of this research is to provide a systematic language for creating function structures by applying the formalism of a graph grammar. Function structures are commonly used to spur new solution principles in conceptual design as well as aid in redesigning existing solutions. Recent function structures research has provided a systematic basis of functions that indicate such structures can be described by a finite number of common functions. However, function structures remain difficult to evaluate both in terms of correctness and effectiveness, and hence difficult to share among designers and to teach to aspiring designers. By developing a graph grammar that encapsulates the feasible ways of creating a function structure, we have provided a foundation for computer tools that allows for quick drafting of function structures, a forum for teaching function structures, and a mechanism for automatically creating function structures for brainstorming new conceptual solutions with a designer.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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