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Endogenous Progress Potential

[+] Author Affiliations
Andy Dong, Somwrita Sarkar

University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Paper No. DETC2012-70096, pp. 647-657; 11 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper provides a graph-theoretic framework for assessing the progress potential for a product or class of products based on the underlying knowledge structure. We characterize the knowledge structure based on singular value signatures and extend the characterization to multi-dimensional functional model representations of product knowledge. We show that the progress potential for a product is partially determined by graph properties of the knowledge structure, and whether the graph structure is modular, random, or hierarchically modular. The characterization is empirically tested on energy harvesting devices. Our model connects the knowledge underlying a product to its potential for progress, appropriately taking into account the nature of product knowledge and its ‘complexity’.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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