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Design Heuristics: A Conceptual Framework and Preliminary Method for Extraction

[+] Author Affiliations
Bumsoo Lee, Kenton B. Fillingim, William R. Binder, Katherine Fu, Christiaan J. J. Paredis

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. DETC2017-67467, pp. V007T06A016; 10 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 29th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, August 6–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5821-9
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


In designing complex systems, systems engineers strive to turn an existing situation into a situation that is most preferred. A rational decision maker would choose the alternative that maximizes the expected utility of the existing situation, but there are significant computational challenges to this approach. To overcome these challenges, most decision makers revert to heuristics. In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework for heuristics in design. A preliminary empirical study of designers for a robotics design problem was conducted to observe how participants apply heuristics. Participants having at least 2 years of experience designing robots were recruited to partake in a robotics design session in which participant were given 45 minutes to work on a design problem. A preliminary heuristics extraction method was developed, and the identified heuristics were studied to find trends within the overall set. These trends were the basis of a taxonomy of heuristics consisting of three initial classification methods: design phase, field of study, and action intent. The heuristics and classifications are presented, along with the challenges from extracting heuristics and recommendations for future work to further research design heuristics and to improve the method for extraction.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Design



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