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Representation in Engineering Design: A Framework for Classification

[+] Author Affiliations
Joshua D. Summers

Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Jami J. Shah

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Paper No. DETC2004-57514, pp. 439-448; 10 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


Many researchers have identified engineering design representation as a central issue for design research and design automation development. Despite this identification, there is still no common agreement on a framework for classifying and describing representation in engineering design. A framework for classifying representations in engineering design is presented here that is based upon the vocabulary, structure, expression, purpose, and abstraction. Examples are used to illustrate the application of this framework. Finally, this framework is compared to other partial representation classifications found in the literature. The framework discussed here enables design researchers, design practitioners, and design students to compare design representation approaches thereby supporting the selection of appropriate representations and models for various design tasks and automation.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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