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The Repeatability of High Definition Design Structure Matrix (HDDSM) Models for Representing Product Architecture

[+] Author Affiliations
Andrew H. Tilstra, Carolyn C. Seepersad, Kristin L. Wood

The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Paper No. DETC2010-28717, pp. 529-542; 14 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 22nd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; Special Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4413-7 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Product architecture has implications for product success that go beyond meeting basic customer needs or performance requirements. The mapping of functions to components and the interactions between them impacts the potential for using all or part of the product to build a family of products, the ease with which the product can be redesigned to meet previously unanticipated customer needs, and the way in which engineering design changes propagate during the design process. For practical applications of design theory, it would be beneficial to have a comprehensive and robust model that captures product architecture and can be used for multiple purposes. Some fields of design research have used variations of a Design Structure Matrix (DSM) to record the interactions between elements of a system. The High Definition Design Structure Matrix (HDDSM) has been proposed as a model that limits the subjectivity required from designers by capturing the existence of very specific types of interactions between product components. This work evaluates the repeatability of HDDSM models created by different examiners for a set of electromechanical products. The inter-rater agreement between HDDSM models created by pairs of examiners is determined by calculating the kappa agreement index for each type of component interaction. The results of this initial study demonstrate very encouraging levels of repeatability across examiners for different types of products. Based on these results, recommendations are provided for creating objective models of product architecture and using such models for a number of exploratory research tasks, such as automated analysis of design guidelines.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Design



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