Research in Engineering Design

Published by Springer Nature
Online ISSN: 1435-6066
Learn more about this page
Recent publications
Distribution of participants' prior AM and DfAM experience
Article
As additive manufacturing (AM) processes become ubiquitous in engineering and design, there has emerged the need for a workforce skilled in designing for AM (DfAM). Researchers have proposed educational interventions to train students in DfAM; however, few measures with sufficient validity evidence have been proposed to assess the effects of these educational interventions on student designers’ learning. In this paper, we present the development of a ten-item DfAM self-efficacy scale spanning the opportunistic and restrictive DfAM domains, as they relate to conceptual design (i.e., preliminary concept generation and selection). We tested the criterion-related validity of the scale by comparing students’ self-efficacy to their prior AM and DfAM experience. Additionally, we tested the construct validity of the scale through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Students’ responses to the scale positively correlated with their prior experience in AM and DfAM, thereby lending criterion-related validity. Additionally, factor analyses reveal that students’ responses are composed of two dimensions: (1) opportunistic DfAM and (2) restrictive DfAM, reflecting the categorization observed in the literature. This finding lends construct validity evidence and demonstrates that the scale captures students’ self-efficacies in the two DfAM domains with sufficient separation. This work supports the use of the DfAM self-efficacy scale for assessing the effects of DfAM education on students’ DfAM learning in conceptual design. Moreover, the DfAM self-efficacy scale can support future research attempting to enhance the effectiveness of AM and DfAM educational interventions by measuring their effects on students’ self-perceived abilities.
 
Article
The fourth industrial revolution is shaping a new industrial landscape. A variety of technologies related to software, information and communication technologies embody a ubiquitous digital and connectivity era. These technologies enable the creation of new products with the integration of connectivity, data collection and processing capacities which require combining engineering disciplines. Increasing product multidisciplinarity compels companies to adapt their product development practices. The scientific literature offers a variety of concepts and techniques to support multidisciplinary product development. This paper seeks to organize the landscape of concepts and techniques available for multidisciplinary product development. An extensive literature review was conducted, and 236 concepts and techniques were identified. Multidisciplinary products of interest deal with both software and hardware development and can be encountered through the denominations of cyber-physical systems, mechatronics and smart products and systems. An in-depth analysis led to the classification and mapping, for each product denomination, of the concepts and techniques available to support their development. The classification relies on a four-level model paired with a decision tree to thoroughly sort the variety of concepts and techniques into the approach, process, method, and tool levels. The mapping between the sorted concepts and techniques enabled the generation of graphical representations called cartographies. These cartographies serve to support companies’ transformation towards the fourth industrial revolution from the product development perspective by giving a general overview of the related literature, and guiding them in the identification of the most suitable approaches, processes, methods and tools.
 
Article
Engineering changes (ECs) and cascading effects of change propagation are major sources of inefficiencies in complex product development, necessitating a lot of routine reworks to implementation. Although many studies have contributed significantly to alleviating or assessing the impact of ECs from various perspectives, relatively little attention has been paid to supporting the redesign or reconfiguration process that would be required to implement ECs. For this reason, a modeling framework based on generative parametric design approach (GPDA) is proposed to construct the models that will be used to implement the changes. Based on the GPDA, this framework establishes a design element library by detecting and modeling upcoming ECs as well as their propagation in advance from a knowledge standpoint. Relying on that, a large solution space with greater expandability is developed to implement ECs more flexibly. To validate the applicability of the suggested framework in terms of EC problems, a practical study of a vehicle door frame design is carried out. According to the findings, this modeling framework enables designers to make informed decisions on EC implementation, particularly those that occur later in the development process.
 
Article
The study of the mechanisms linked to creativity has become a topic of great interest in various scientific fields in recent decades. One area in which a particularly large amount of research has been conducted is on the positive effect of natural environments on creativity. Yet, none of these studies have focused on the interaction that may arise with the design method used. That is, they consider the empowering effect of nature on creativity to be something general, without taking into account other factors that may influence it, such as the type of methodology used. This paper therefore aims to go a step further and investigate how the type of design methodology used—intuitive or logical—in a simulated natural environment affects the designer’s creativity. The analysis of both the design process and its outcomes shows that the main differences in the way of working with design methodologies occur mainly in the case of intuitive methodologies, helping designers to improve the quality of their outcomes.
 
Article
Feedback is essential in the design and development process, occurring in the generation of new designs, in the adaptation of development projects to emerging information, and in coordination and collaboration of project participants—among many other aspects. Feedback also contributes to development project complexity and may cause resistance to desirable changes. But despite the importance of feedback in the design and development process (DDP), relatively few publications have examined this topic in an integrated way. This article makes two contributions towards addressing the gap. First, a conceptual framework is developed to organise perspectives on feedback in the DDP literature. The framework shows how feedback occurs at different levels of the design and development process and how it affects important DDP behaviours, namely goal-seeking, learning and emergence. Second, a system-theoretic model of feedback situations in the design and development process is introduced to synthesise key ideas. We provide concrete examples to show how this new model can be used to frame DDP situations and draw out feedback-related insight.
 
The product design process used as a framework in this study (adapted from Ulrich et al. 2020)
of challenges and strategies, presented by activity type
Participant characteristics
Article
Lower costs and higher employee satisfaction are some of the benefits driving organizations to adopt dispersed and virtual working arrangements. Despite these advantages, product design engineering teams—those who develop physical products—have not widely adopted this working style due to perceived critical dependence on physical facilities and the belief that it is ineffective to communicate technical details virtually. This paper uses the mass shift in working conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to explore the feasibility of virtual and distributed work in product design engineering. We conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with product design engineers working virtually to uncover current challenges of, and the beginning of promising strategies for, effective virtual engineering work. We categorize and analyze Tangible Design activities, Intangible Design activities, and Communication and Project Management activities throughout the product design process. Contrary to present opinions, we found that much of a product design engineer's work is realizable in a virtual and distributed setting. However, there are still many challenges, especially when attempting Tangible Design activities—those that require physical products and tools—from home. These challenges, missing from existing virtual product design engineering literature, include but are not limited to individuals’ lessened sense of accountability, fewer de-risking opportunities before product sign-off, and limited supervision of production staff. Product design engineers described novel strategies that emerged organically to mitigate these challenges, such as creating digital alternatives for engineering reviews and sign-offs and leveraging rapid prototyping. Recent advances in technology, an increased commitment to reducing environmental impact, and better work-life balance expectations from new generations of workers will only push society faster towards a distributed working model. Thus, it is critical that we use this opportunity to understand the existing challenges for distributed product design engineers, so that organizations can best prepare and become resilient to future shocks.
 
Article
This research formulates, and numerically quantifies the optimal response that can be discovered in a design space characterized by main effects, and two-way and three-way interactions. In an experimental design setup, this can be conceptualized as the response of the best treatment combination of a $$2^k$$ 2 k full factorial design. Using Gaussian and Uniform priors for the strength of main effects and interaction effects, this study enables a practitioner to make estimates of the maximum possible improvement that is possible through design space exploration. For basic designs up to two factors, we construct the full distribution of the optimal treatment. Whereas, for values of $$k\ge 3$$ k ≥ 3 , we analytically formulate two indicators of a greedy heuristic of the expected value of the optimal treatment. We present results for these formulations up to $$k=7$$ k = 7 factors and validate these through simulations. Finally, we also present an illustrative case study of the power loss in disengaged wet clutches, which confirms our findings and serves as an implementation guide for practitioners.
 
The I–P–O framework
Different types of models and frameworks of codesign with resource-constrained people
of review findings about inputs, outputs, success factors, and impeding factors
Article
Codesign with resource-constrained people living in developing countries is crucial for sustained adoption and use of designed solutions. Several studies have investigated codesign with resource-constrained people. It is, therefore, important to understand what has been investigated and learnt so far as well as to plan for further scholarly exploration of this field. To address this, I applied a systematic literature review (SLR) approach to understand main sources, definitions, and theoretical perspectives regarding codesign with resource-constrained people. The SLR also aimed to understand inputs and outputs of codesign as well as factors influencing the codesign process. The findings portray a multifaceted picture regarding these aspects of codesign. I discuss implications of review findings for the practice of codesigning solutions with resource-constrained people, identify concerns that researchers should have about this field, and offer suggestions for future research in this field of codesign.
 
Two experimental conditions (the parallel condition and the iterative condition) altered the participants’ prototyping processes. The parallel condition modeled two concepts simultaneously while the iterative condition created models serially
Depiction of competition setup with more points for the center of the target (10 points) and less at the edge of target (1 point) as indicated
Average Engineering Design Self Efficacy (EDSE) scores between the iterative condition and parallel condition during the pre- and post- data collection with error bars of + / − 1 standard error
Average agreement to statements on the post-prototyping survey completed after the design competition with error bars of ± 1 standard error
This theoretical depiction of solution space exploration by the two experimental conditions shows greater solution space exploration by participants in the parallel condition. The center of the circle marks the theoretically most feasible solution, “P1” and “P2” indicate the first and second prototype respectively, and “F” indicates the Final Prototype
Article
Prototyping, whether physical, virtual, or computational, is an important step in the engineering design process. Iterative prototyping strategies are commonly taught in engineering curricula and implemented in industry, but there may be other ways to approach the prototyping process. Engineers often use physical prototypes to learn about their designs, communicate ideas, and validate effectiveness. In this study, the effects of iterative and parallel prototyping strategies are compared through a design competition with a heavy focus on gaining knowledge from the physical models. Design success, engineering design self-efficacy, and solution space exploration are considered to evaluate the different effects of these two prototyping strategies. Results suggest that a parallel prototyping strategy yields greater design success, increased confidence and reduced anxiety when conducting engineering design, and greater exploration of the solution space. In addition, participants seem largely unaware of these benefits based a post-prototyping survey. This work shows the value of parallel prototyping, which has implications for how prototyping is taught to engineering novices and how engineering designers in industry should approach the prototyping process. This study also provides strong evidence for a need to study the benefits and drawbacks of a parallel prototypin approach in more complex situations.
 
Parts of electrical circuit demonstrating the connection between algebraic inequalities and physical reality; a resistors connected in series and b resistors connected in parallel
a A cylindrical cantilever beam with length L loaded with a single concentrated force with magnitude a; b two identical cantilever beams with smaller radii, loaded with two forces with magnitudes a1\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$a_{1}$$\end{document} and a2\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$a_{2}$$\end{document}, whose sum is equal to the magnitude a of the single force
a An object with mass m, moving with constant velocity v\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$v$$\end{document}, whose impact is dampened by a spring assembly with equivalent stiffness c. b A pair of objects with masses m1\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$m_{1}$$\end{document} and m2\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$m_{2}$$\end{document}, (m=m1+m2\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$m = m_{1} + m_{2}$$\end{document}) moving with constant velocity v\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$v$$\end{document}, whose impact is dampened by individual springs with stiffness values c1\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$c_{1}$$\end{document} and c2\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$c_{2}$$\end{document}. (c=c1+c2\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$c = c_{1} + c_{2}$$\end{document})
Pairs of elastic elements connected in parallel where the elastic elements in the pairs are connected in series
Elastic elements with stiffness values xi\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$x_{i}$$\end{document} arranged in a parallel and b series. The series arrangement (b) is loaded with the same force F as the parallel arrangement
Article
A special class of general inequalities has been identified that provides the opportunity for generating new knowledge that can be used for optimising systems and processes in diverse areas of science and technology. It is demonstrated that inequalities belonging to this class can always be interpreted meaningfully if the variables and separate terms of the inequalities represent additive quantities. The meaningful interpretation of a new algebraic inequality based on the proposed general class of inequalities led to developing a light-weight design for a supporting structure based on cantilever beams, reducing the maximum force upon impact, generating new knowledge about the deflection of elastic elements connected in parallel and series and optimising the allocation of resources to maximise expected benefit. The interpretation of the new inequality yielded that the deflection of elastic elements connected in parallel is at least n2\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$n^{2}$$\end{document} times smaller than the deflection of the same elastic elements connected in series, irrespective of the individual stiffness values of the elastic elements. The interpretation of another algebraic inequality from the proposed general class led to a method for decreasing the stiffness of a mechanical assembly by cyclic permutation of the elastic elements building the assembly. The analysis showed that a decrease of stiffness exists only if asymmetry of the stiffness values in the connected elements is present.
 
Article
This paper investigates how the core technical processes of the INCOSE model of systems engineering differ from other models of designing used in the domains of mechanical engineering, software engineering and service design. The study is based on fine-grained datasets produced using mappings of the different models onto the function-behaviour-structure (FBS) ontology. By representing every model uniformly, the same statistical analyses can be carried out independently of the domain of the model. Results of correspondence analysis, cumulative occurrence analysis and Markov model analysis show that the INCOSE model differs from the other models in its increased emphasis on requirements and on behaviours derived from structure, in the uniqueness of its verification and validation phases, and in some patterns related to the temporal development and frequency distributions of FBS design issues.
 
Article
Applicability testing of constructive computational mechanisms (CCMs) is a new challenge for both the academia and the industry. The overwhelming majority of the existing validation approaches focuses on the internal validity of CCMs (e.g. consistency, bias), while there is a shortage of efficient approaches for assessing the external validity (e.g. applicability, reusability). The objective of this paper is to clarify the concepts and criteria, and to develop an approach for a systematic evaluation of the applicability of a given CCM to cases that were not considered at design time. The approach is adapted from the validation square approach (VSA). The adapted methodology (A-VSA) makes it possible to evaluate CCMs from (a) theoretical structural, (b) empirical structural, (c) theoretical performance, and (d) empirical performance dimensions. Altogether eight indicators are introduced that support the evaluation process. The effectiveness of the A-VSA was confirmed through a case study, in which a specific CCM is considered and the strategy of the A-VSA was operationalized with three completely different application cases. As evidenced by the results, the proposed A-VSA establishes a tight coupling among the enablers embraced by a CCM and the aspects of theoretical and empirical validation, which approves the approach to be an efficient tool for defining the range and/or the extent of applicability. The advantage of the A-VSA is that it offers a way to transfer qualitative applicability evaluation into quantitative applicability assessment, which allows the use of both subjective statements and mathematical modeling in applicability testing. The results of the assessment can guide the adaptation work of a CCM when applied to an out-of-domain application.
 
Article
This paper describes an engineering design methodology, called conceptual design for assembly (CDFA) in the context of aircraft development, to assess aircraft systems’ installation during conceptual phase, in relation to industrial performance objectives. The methodology is based on a given framework (hierarchical structure) which includes a set of attributes, collected in recognized domains that characterize the aircraft systems installation. The framework of the CDFA methodology enables to analyze product architectures at different levels of granularity, splitting the global analysis into sub-problems (problem discretization) with the aim to help architects and designers to identify product architecture weaknesses in terms of fit for assembly performances. The CDFA methodology was applied on a complex system (the nose-fuselage of a commercial aircraft) presenting a high number of criticalities both for the product and its assembly operations. Results identified the architectural components leading to the less efficient assembly operations and the rationales enabling to elaborate alternative architectures for an improved product industrial efficiency.
 
Article
In this study, we examine innovative design practices on the Saint-Nazaire Airbus factory shop floor. The engineering and manufacturing engineering departments are in charge of the design of products and their industrialization, even though the factory is usually seen as a place for manufacturing, rather than design. However, there is also design activity in a factory that is devoted to the optimization of manufacturing processes. In this study, we highlight an alternative form of design that relies on a collective exploratory approach. A total of 30 projects from the Saint-Nazaire Airbus factory were selected and analyzed. Of these, two were selected as case studies to illustrate the factory’s different design methods. Subsequently, quantitative analysis provided evidence of the existence of two design regimes: closed prescription and expandable prescription. The resulting solutions were examined, and it was found that designs under the expandable prescription regime provided more robust long-term solutions. This study offers new perspectives for reexamining innovation in manufacturing and exploring design activity on factory shop floors.
 
Article
The smart factories that are already beginning to appear employ a completely new approach to product creation. Smart products are uniquely identifiable and know both their current status and alternative routes to achieving their target state. Smart factories allow individual customer requirements to be met, meaning that even one-off items can be manufactured profitably. In smart industry, dynamic business and engineering processes enable last-minute changes to design and production, delivering the ability to respond flexibly to disruptions and failures on behalf of suppliers. This paper presents a case study of product development and design process renovation according to changeability paradigm in one-of-a-kind industrial environment. It demonstrates how integration of changeability with agile design strategies crucially contribute to improve the operations of a highly individualized product development business. Successful management of ‘never-ending’ engineering changes appears to be the most important aspect in this field. Contribution of the presented work is a generalized framework that demonstrates how companies in such specific environments can improve competitiveness through the utilization of changeability concepts. The included case study validated the proposed changeability model and offers valuable insights into how to implement this in practice.
 
Article
In large engineering projects, the complexity of organizational and decision-making structures is a challenge for efficient management. Middle management plays a crucial and often underestimated role in the daily life of these complex projects. Our goal is to provide theoretical tools to seize the complexity of large engineering projects from the point of view of the human actors. An analysis of the organization of the ATLAS detector within the LHC at CERN was conducted over a period of several years. This contribution presents work on engineering interfaces in collaborative activities by showing how middle managers (mostly engineers) act as interfaces with other stakeholders and deal with complex socio-economic and technical issues. The interface model described is human-centric and aims at reflecting the complexity of engineering management situations. Different types of interactions stem from this model, as well as the exchange spaces established through the interface actor. The potential of application of the model is illustrated through two project case studies, one in the field of big science and the second one in high-tech medical equipment.
 
Example eco-feedback designs, each with four forms
Distributions of knowledge scores and awareness scores by country and gender. Note: The dots and the error bars represent the average scores and the standard deviation of scores, respectively, from each group of respondents of the same gender and country
Average clarity and emotion ratings of the designs. Note: One data point represents the average ratings of one design; a shaded ellipse represents the mean and covariance of the average ratings of all products generated in one design form; the notation of E1, E2, etc. correspond to the designs as numbered in Supplementary Material
Example designs winning a majority or plurality votes as the most preferred. The left figure is reproduced with permission from ref (Bao et al. 2016), © 2016 ASME
Comparison of logistic regression model coefficients between genders, higher and lower knowledge groups, higher and lower awareness groups within each country. Note: Blue bars and pink bars represent the estimated model coefficients of clarity ratings and emotion ratings, respectively. Error bars represent the standard errors of coefficients. Z statistics and p values are calculated according to Eqs. (3) and (4). *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001
Article
Eco-feedback is a design strategy that reminds users of their resource consumption as they use a product. The ultimate goal is to promote pro-environmental behaviors in users by making them aware of the environmental impact of their consumption. The way these designs present resource usage information can significantly impact user perceptions. This paper investigates two aspects of resource usage presentation, quantitative feedback and emotional evocativeness, by evaluating 32 designs spanning electricity, materials, transportation, and water via surveys of 619 university students in the US and Saudi Arabia. Both these aspects are positively correlated with perceived product appeal and perceived effectiveness in encouraging sustainable behavior. It was found that presenting quantitative resource usage information was more helpful to respondents who could better estimate resource consumption, while the emotional evocativeness of a design aided respondents with lower and higher resource consumption knowledge to a similar degree. In addition, we found that images of living creatures and strong visual cues evoked strong emotions in users. Female participants, in general, responded more strongly than males to this emotional evocativeness. These experimental findings cast light on how to better design eco-feedback products to be more widely accepted.
 
Article
The aim of this work is to determine how personal intrinsic factors towards a design problem are related to novelty and circularity. A deeper understanding of this relationship will be a valuable aid when it comes to making an adequate selection of design teams. The factors studied are the level of the designer's motivation, relevance, knowledge and affinity with regard to the design problem. To this end, a study was conducted with 35 novice designers, organised in groups of between two and five members. Each group had to propose a conceptual solution to two different design problems. Novelty was assessed using the SAPPhIRE causality model (which stands for State–Action–Part–Phenomenon–Input–oRgan–Effect) and the Circular Economy Toolkit was applied to measure circularity. The results show that as motivation, level of knowledge, perception of relevance and affinity for the problem increase, the solution displays greater novelty and less circularity, although for circularity, the difference is not statistically significant.
 
Article
Technologies, evolving at an ever faster pace, particularly in the electronics and IT sectors, lead inevitably systems to face the problems generated by obsolescence. Clearly, the manufacturer must be able to design systems so that an obsolescence problem has the least possible damaging or undesired consequences. The fact that a system remains as long as possible unaffected by changes imposed by obsolescence is called resilience. It, therefore, determines the ability of the system to continue providing its services while having at least one obsolete component, function or technology. The objective of this research work is to propose a modeling methodology and tools to ensure resilience to obsolescence; this resilience being directly defined by design choices. The methodology is based on the exploitation of modeled dependencies in the architecture of a system. The mapping of dependencies is done using different models obtained by applying a system engineering methodology, ARCADIA. The dependency model is then transformed into Bayesian networks to predict quantitatively not only the consequences of possible obsolescence issues in a given architecture but also to qualify the alternatives. This methodology, called Obsolescence Resilience By Construct, ORByC, is applied to the study of the rail signaling system.
 
Article
All systems are likely to be affected by obsolescence. A component is considered obsolete when it is no longer manufactured or requested. Obsolescence must be taken into account, analysed and resolved effectively as it can lead to temporary or permanent stoppage of a system or make it impossible to repair it. The consequences of an obsolete entity must be minimised as they may have impacts, among others, on system characteristics such as availability or maintainability. These consequences can cascade through the system architecture. Understanding the propagation mechanisms can greatly contribute to obsolescence resilient design, but also to obsolescence management enabling a more effective determination of the scope of impact of actual or predicted obsolescence. The objective of this research work is to propose models to describe such propagation and to understand its principles. In fact, even if the obsolescence or rarefaction propagation is real and commonly accepted, there are no models describing its mechanisms. This paper focuses on two main points. First, it contributes to the concepts of obsolescence and rarefaction. Second, we propose descriptive and mathematical models of obsolescence and rarefaction propagation which allow to describe the likelihood of this propagation through the architecture of the system via two types of identified links, namely dependency and jump-up/jump-downs. These proposals are then illustrated through an example of a monitoring unit for a perfume bottle packaging line. After a discussion of the results obtained, the paper ends with the definition of future research pathways to ease the use of probabilistic inference tools for the exploitation of the proposed models.
 
Article
In recent years, space projects have evolved to faster and more variable projects. To adjust the design processes in accordance, new work methodologies arise, as the Concurrent Engineering (CE). This working discipline is characterized by collaborative design and the flux of information being improved by working in a dedicated environment. CE has been recently adopted by space industry for the preliminary design phase of spacecrafts and other space systems. However, this methodology does not envisage tasks prioritization, which is a fundamental aspect to achieve an optimal design solution with an efficient allocation of resources. In this work a variation of CE discipline by applying Agile methodologies (in which the aspect of task prioritization is essential), is proposed. Agile methodologies allow the proper distribution of the design effort depending on the project priorities, the state of the design and the requirements, in a continuous process to improve the design solution. The general aspects of the proposed method are presented and applied to the design of a space mission, the results being analysed and compared with to the classical CE process in order to outline its differences and similarities with CE and Agile methodologies and show its potential for a new environment for space project design.
 
Article
Driven by the evolving customer requirements and the advancement of key technologies, design changes broadly exist in the lifecycle of the complex product. And as a popular engineering management strategy, the modularization strategy has been widely applied in the research and development process of complex products. However, most of the existing modularization methods do not consider the issue of design change management. Under this circumstance, the “avalanche effect” of the design change propagation might be magnified due to the inappropriate modular structure. Thus, to decrease the effect of the design change propagation, a novel modularization method of the complex product is proposed incorporating the modularity and the scope of design change propagation (SDCP). Firstly, considering the functional and physical relationship between components, the correlation matrix that is the adjacency matrix of the related weighted and directed network model is constructed. Secondly, the indexes of modularity and SDCP are defined based on the predetermined network model and correlation matrix, respectively. Thirdly, taking the modularity and the SDCP as the optimization objectives, a bi-objective optimization model is built for the modularization of the complex product, and then the model is solved by the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II (NSGA-II). Finally, the modularization of the cab for a specific electronic sanitation vehicle is implemented as the case study to expound the utility and effectiveness of the proposed methodology.
 
Article
The current nature of innovation projects, which integrate a growing number of stakeholders, is increasing the complexity and scope of the product development process. The understanding of the complex and synergistic dynamics between the entire set of stakeholders requires well-adapted approaches to deal with this complexity since the early stages of a project. The present paper proposes a new methodology, based on the Kano model and needs trade-off methodology for a multi-stakeholders’ ecosystem during early design stages, enabling to identify and anticipate the needs of an ecosystem of stakeholders. The resulting aggregated Kano matrix enables a holistic vision of the aggregated stakeholders’ needs, and then identify emerging needs of the entire ecosystem. The proposed methodology is illustrated through a case study concerning an innovative project of self-directed learning tool apps for smartphones.
 
Article
Mining user preferences from online reviews to understand the representative preferences of different customer groups plays a critical role in product development and improvement, especially in personalized product design. Previous research on mining user preferences usually assumes that all consumers' preferences are homogenous and does not take differences in consumers’ personalities into account. Besides, traditional online review deep mining methods are too broad to focus on precise and detailed mining of customer preferences. To fill the gaps in existing research, our study develops a template matching deep mining method to segment customers and narrow the mining scope of customer group preference, and then proposes a product family lean improvement model. Firstly, K-means and structural change model are applied to cluster customers reliably based on the similarity of user preferences. Secondly, in order to decrease down mining scope of customer group preference, the Improved Deep Structured Semantic Model is designed to determine sentimental polarity sentimental polarity of different groups by matching the standard sentimental polarity review templates and online reviews. Finally, a KANO mapping model is developed to decide the user preferences for product attributes in each customer group according to their sentimental polarity and further summarize the common preferences and personalized preferences of various groups according to the Preference Commonality Measurement Function. Accordingly, product family lean improvement strategies are proposed to provide product developers with improvement directions. An empirical study is carried out on laptop data on JD.COM to verify the validity of the proposed model and product family lean improvement suggestions are put forward.
 
Article
This article aims to find the point where the official guidelines meet the realities experienced inside the Technical School Board (TSB) sessions. The theoretical framework supporting this topic consists mainly of official documents issued by the Mexican Ministry of Public Education, which serve as basis for the functioning of such an education organism. The methodology used falls within the interpretative paradigm, and qualitative research was carried out through study cases in which the research subjects were teachers from different basic education level schools in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Among the results found were the significant differences between the guidelines established by the official education authorities and the actual teaching practice inside the classrooms. In addition, this research deems it essential for the TSB to consider, primarily, the teachers’ contributions and their needs as they are the agents who are most directly involved in the education process and who bear the most thorough knowledge of the institution’s educational practices.
 
Representative examples of designs employed in the case study: (a) vase, (b) chair, (c) lamp
Further examples of vases employed in the case study
Definitions of the six factors
Article
Creativity is considered to have a significant impact on the design process and its outcomes, while aesthetics and functionality are considered key characteristics of products. A relationship between creativity, aesthetics and functionality is, therefore, often assumed, however, researchers view the relations between creativity, functionality and aesthetics differently. In this paper, the authors present first evidence that novelty, usefulness and surprise are the core elements of design creativity. The aim of this research is the exploration of the relations between functionality, aesthetics, novelty, usefulness, surprise, and overall creativity, by means of an experimental case study involving design experts evaluating forty-five design samples. Statistical analysis has been conducted to investigate and understand these relations. The results obtained indicate that aesthetics has a significant positive relationship with creativity but that functionality does not have a statistically significant relationship with creativity in general. Further analysis confirms that design creativity is strongly and positively related to novelty and surprise, but not significantly related to usefulness. In addition, high correlation coefficient values have revealed that creativity, novelty and surprise are perceived as the same dimension as are functionality and usefulness. This paper may be of interest to researchers, practitioners, and educators in the broader realm of design, including industrial design, creativity in design, engineering design, design innovation, product design and new product development. It provides new insights into how creativity is perceived within the field and offers a new point of view on creativity and its dimensions for the community to meditate and to debate.
 
Article
266 fuzzy front-end (FFE) studies in the new product development (NPD) sector were examined. The studies were selected using a bibliometrics method, and chronologically and statistically examined with ten criteria divided into two dimensions. The first dimension is associated with overall attributes of the FFE, consisting of six criteria: the study taxonomy, model type, NPD speed, NPD attributes, model characteristic, and model structure. The second dimension is relevant to the FFE performance structure related to process parameters, comprised of four criteria: the FFE task, activity, performance method, and toolkit. In terms of those two dimensions, the paper looks at previous FFE studies to gain an understanding of features of each FFE study along with related knowledge and theories, as well as identification of evolution trends of FFE studies. Based on the identification, an FFE model development strategy for each criterion is formulated, and this paper proposes possible options for executing those strategies which exert influence on the form of the cluster network. The intention is for the database to be utilised as an overview of all existing FFE studies and allow specific FFE studies to be selected to examine FFE approaches.This paper provides FFE model development guidance on how to deal with the overall attributes and outcomes of the FFE which affect the entirety of the innovation process, and how to manage the performance structure related to process parameters.
 
Article
One of the reasons why products are replaced is as a consequence of changes in the users’ personal life. Adaptable or upgradable products have the advantage that, to some extent, they counter dissatisfaction in products that still work by improving functionalities or adding new ones. So, to develop adaptable products, designers have to consider the potential changes in the users’ personal life during the earlier phases of the design process. This work presents a list of scenario creation-type questions which promote design ideas that consider changing needs (QuChaNe). To check the effectiveness of this list of questions, an experiment with 28 designers was conducted. In the experiment, the designers applied the proposed list of questions to generate ideas for products. The same task was carried out using no prescribed method as a control group for comparison purposes. The results show that the use of the list of scenario creation questions leads to the generation of more ideas for changing needs and with higher quality. This finding implies that designers could use these questions to generate ideas for changing needs as a previous task before applying design for adaptability (DFA) or upgradability (DFU) methods. This would ultimately lead to more adaptable products.
 
Article
Frame creation (framing) faces the challenge of envisioning novel viewpoints that point to value. This paper examines framing and uses Dorst’s definition of frame from the perspective of engineering design theories and methods to highlight three of their key characteristics: (P1) problem-domain independence, (P2) generativity, and (P3) formal definition of a valuable design outcome or process in terms of principles. These properties support two statements. Statement 1: an engineering design theory or method satisfying (P1), (P2) and (P3) holds Dorst’s definition of frame. The design principles on which the engineering design theory or method is based on are the pattern of relationships that characterizes valuable outcomes and processes in that frame. Statement 2: when a designer uses an engineering design theory or method satisfying (P3), the interaction between the design problem frame (A) and the engineering design theory or method frame (B), uncovers a new frame (C) with a definition of value. Illustrative examples based on axiomatic design and C-K theory demonstrate the practical application of these statements.
 
Article
Biomimetics has been a subject of increasing interest but, where it has proven its scientific relevance and innovative potential from a theoretical standpoint, it remains rarely used in practice. Facing this lack of implementation, our work aimed at asking practitioners for their help to better understand the remaining impediments preventing biomimetics’ blooming. Thus, practitioners’ feedback and experts’ opinion on risks, adequacy and weaknesses of the current biomimetic practices were gathered and structured to present an extensive descriptive phase on biomimetic processes. Key levers for improvements, such as the need for a better risk management, the need for biological expertise and the need for clear guidance during the process, were then identified. Based on these insights various methodological contributions are prescribed. Among these inputs, the duration of the various steps of the biomimetic process was estimated through industrial projects’ feedback, semantics misunderstandings were tackled, and the integration of a new transdisciplinary profile combining an expertise in both design and biology is proposed. From these improvements, a new version of the unified problem-driven biomimetic process is proposed. A final descriptive phase performed through the evaluation of the new process by professionals underlined its relevancy along with the remaining research axes. Through the integration of a new profile matching the practitioners’ current needs and the adaptation of the process to their feedback, this article aims at proposing a biomimetic process fitting the reality of biomimetic practice in order to support its implementation.
 
Product architecture types edited from Chiu and Okudan Kremer (2014)
Assembly sequence diagrams for derived optimal product architectures
Article
Various studies have discussed the coordination of product and supply chain design decisions for global supply chain management. However, the impact of currency exchange rate uncertainty on the selection of product architectures and their suppliers has not been sufficiently addressed. As a response, this study proposes a two-stage stochastic optimization model in which the first stage determines the product architecture, and the second stage identifies suppliers for the modules and components in an optimal fashion based on the product architecture and uncertain currency exchange rates. The overall objective of two-stage stochastic programming is to determine the optimal product architecture that minimizes the expected total supply chain cost over uncertain currency exchange rate scenarios. The proposed model is applied to a bicycle supply chain case study for three global marketplaces associated with multiple currency exchange rates. The results demonstrate that optimal product architecture and its suppliers should be varied based on currency exchange rates and their uncertain fluctuation levels. Also, a product architecture for the supply chain of each marketplace maintains its optimality in the total supply chain cost, up to a specific exchange rate. The findings show the importance of joint integration between product and supply chain design when considering currency exchange rates. Additionally, the benefit of stochastic modelling is demonstrated by comparing the solution quality of the model with its deterministic counterpart.
 
Article
In industry, the failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) methodology is one of the main tools used for reliability management in product design and development. However, the academic literature highlights several shortcomings of the FMEA methodology. Therefore, the main purposes of this paper are the analysis of the weaknesses of FMEA, the improvement of the method, and the implementation of a new methodology able to support quality and reliability management in a more efficient way. Motivated by these objectives, a formal new methodology is proposed by extending the classic FMEA methodology through C-K design theory. To test the effectiveness of the proposed approach and analyze the acceptance of this method by users, a case study is conducted in STMicroelectronics, one of the European leaders in the semiconductor industry.
 
Representative examples of designs employed in the case study: (a) vase, (b) chair, (c) lamp
Further examples of vases employed in the case study
Definitions of the six factors
Article
Creativity is considered to have a significant impact on the design process and its outcomes, while aesthetics and functionality are considered key characteristics of products. A relationship between creativity, aesthetics and functionality is, therefore, often assumed, however, researchers view the relations between creativity, functionality and aesthetics differently. In this paper, the authors present first evidence that novelty, usefulness and surprise are the core elements of design creativity. The aim of this research is the exploration of the relations between functionality, aesthetics, novelty, usefulness, surprise, and overall creativity, by means of an experimental case study involving design experts evaluating forty-five design samples. Statistical analysis has been conducted to investigate and understand these relations. The results obtained indicate that aesthetics has a significant positive relationship with creativity but that functionality does not have a statistically significant relationship with creativity in general. Further analysis confirms that design creativity is strongly and positively related to novelty and surprise, but not significantly related to usefulness. In addition, high correlation coefficient values have revealed that creativity, novelty and surprise are perceived as the same dimension as are functionality and usefulness. This paper may be of interest to researchers, practitioners, and educators in the broader realm of design, including industrial design, creativity in design, engineering design, design innovation, product design and new product development. It provides new insights into how creativity is perceived within the field and offers a new point of view on creativity and its dimensions for the community to meditate and to debate.
 
Article
Designing Product-Service Systems (PSS) is associated with multiple problems and challenges, usually derived from its multidisciplinarity and partially intangible nature. One particular issue is the high likelihood of ignoring the creation of relevant information regarding one or more PSS elements during the early design phases. Proceeding to later stages (e.g., detailed design) without generating the required information regarding all PSS elements and their relationships may lead to rework and lack of integration. Dealing with this problem requires adequate planning and evaluation of the artifacts (such as documents and models) created in the initial design phases. As a fundamental theoretical basis to support the creation of solutions that may help project managers dealing with this challenge, this paper presents a concept map to structure the concepts that compose artifacts resulting from the initial stages of PSS design and how those concepts interrelate. This concept map aims to structure which classes of information should be defined in the early phases of the design process before proceeding to a detailed design. The concept map was created by extracting concepts and relationships proposed in classifications, taxonomies, ontologies, meta-models, and concept maps in the PSS and servitization fields. Those documents were identified through a comprehensive systematic literature review. The resulting concept map was verified for completeness against formal documentation of two retrospective PSS design projects. The final proposed concept map is composed of 143 concepts interconnected through 278 relationships. In its current format, the concept map may be used as a checklist to support project managers in planning and evaluating early phases of PSS design based on information completeness. Researchers may also employ it to deploy ontologies, approach further knowledge and information-related challenges in PSS design, or structure PSS-related model-based systems engineering approaches. In future research, this concept map shall be deployed in a meta-model based on artifacts commonly used in PSS design, structuring a computational tool to allow and support practical application on planning and evaluating PSS design projects.
 
Article
Having an accurate understanding of the individual’s Kansei needs and afterwards designing products that match these needs are particularly important in the era of mass personalisation. Although customers’ Kansei needs have been addressed by Kansei engineering, difculties remain in handling the diferences of individual Kansei. In this paper, individual Kansei variance is considered to transform the Kansei words into multisensory design elements, to help designers better understand the individual’s Kansei needs. First, a fuzzy cognitive model is proposed to identify the individual Kansei diferences in Kansei words by taking customers’ characteristics and purchasing motives into consideration. Second, a fuzzy cognitive model-based mapping method is proposed to interpret Kansei words into multisensory design elements. The method incorporates a fuzzy clustering method and basic-emotion systems to identify Kansei variance and to determine design elements’ membership of Kansei words dynamically. Finally, the prototype application of the proposed method on a compact SUV is illustrated. The results suggest that individual diferences in Kansei terms do exist among customers in the same market segment, and the proposed method has good feasibility and practicability in handling individual Kansei diferences in emotional design. Those Kansei dimensions that are more prominent in individual Kansei variance are highly recommended for further digging, which would beneft carrying out personalised customisation and diferentiated design.
 
Packaging system levels (Jönson 2000)
Flow chart of the proposed methodology
Handling time in the packaging process
Article
Product packaging has a huge impact on the efficiency of supply chain activities. In this research, the concept of Design for Assembly (DFA), proved in earlier studies to be effective at improving product manufacturing operations, is applied to the packaging system. We formulate the packaging system as a mathematical model for three different objectives. With respect to the continual rise in attention paid to sustainability, this research adds sustainability as one of the primary objectives. A case study demonstrates that the proposed model can achieve desired results and reveals a level of consistency among the three objectives. In addition to the application of DFA concepts to a packaging system, the contributions of this research lie in the development of a mathematical model (using integer programming and goal programming) for calculating the cost, handling time, and sustainability of the objectives in line with the design needs of the multi-level packaging size from the perspective of a supply chain to provide a range of solutions offering increased options for firms.
 
Article
Engineering design processes that are dependent on Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tools commonly involve complex patterns of tasks, including concurrency and intertwined iterations. There are often inefficiencies and improvement opportunities in such processes, but it can be difficult to identify and evaluate them-partly because of the complex iteration patterns, and partly because process knowledge is usually tacit and often distributed among process participants so that it is difficult to appreciate the causes and effects of iteration in an integrated way. The Applied Signposting Model (ASM) was developed to address these issues during more than a decade of research and case studies in the aerospace sector. This article describes an evolved version of the ASM, called ASM2.0, alongside a detailed case to demonstrate its application to improve CAE-driven, iteration-intensive engineering design processes. A review of applications is also provided. A differentiating feature of ASM2.0 is that it integrates visually-familiar flowchart mapping with quantitative analysis of process performance, to enable the modelling of complex iteration patterns that are typical of engineering design practice.
 
Article
Lack of planning when changing requirements to reflect stakeholders’ expectations can lead to propagated changes that can cause project failures. Existing tools cannot provide the formal reasoning required to manage requirement change and minimize unanticipated change propagation. This research explores machine learning techniques to predict requirement change volatility (RCV) using complex network metrics based on the premise that requirement networks can be utilized to study change propagation. Three research questions (RQs) are addressed: (1) Can RCV be measured through four classes namely, multiplier, absorber, transmitter, and robust, during every instance of change? (2) Can complex network metrics be explored and computed for each requirement during every instance of change? (3) Can machine learning techniques, specifically, multilabel learning (MLL) methods be employed to predict RCV using complex network metrics? RCV in this paper quantifies volatility for change propagation, that is, how requirements behave in response to the initial change. A multiplier is a requirement that is changed by an initial change and propagates change to other requirements. An absorber is a requirement that is changed by an initial change, but does not propagate change to other requirements. A transmitter is a requirement that is not changed by an initial change, but propagates change to other requirements. A robust requirement is a requirement that is not changed by an initial change and does not propagate change to other requirements. RCV is determined using industrial data and requirement network relationships obtained from previously developed Refined Automated Requirement Change Propagation Prediction (R-ARCPP) tool. Useful complex network metrics in highest performing machine learning models are discussed along with the limitations and future directions of this research.
 
Design decisions that impact every stage of a product’s lifecycle.
Source: Ramani et al. (2010)
Research Questions, Response Alternatives and ID
Framework of the current research regarding the relations of integration between RL and SD for sustainability
Framework of identification/proposition of new direct integration alternatives between RL and SD
Framework of integration RL and SD by means of DfRL
Article
The increase in manufactured products has progressively generated industrial waste and, thus, the post-consumption waste, which is not adequately disposed of. Regulation and sustainability strategies have been considered as a solution to this problem, in which social, environmental and economic gains have been the main goals. Sustainability issues integrated into the main businesses and operations within the supply chain have been considered in all stages of product design to make them more sustainable. Hence, this study aimed to describe the current state of the art regarding Sustainable Design and Reverse Logistics integration, to identify the potential factors that allow for this combination and report the challenges and opportunities by means of a systematic literature review. We elaborated a systematic review protocol, which stated the inclusion and exclusion criteria for selecting publications regarding the integration between Sustainable Design and Reverse Logistics, from 2008 to 2017 and considered ten research questions as guidelines to collect information from the selected papers. Our final sample comprised of 19 papers and we verified that there are several gaps regarding the integration of the two concepts since most of the research considered indirect integration relations and they do not account for Reverse Logistics activities at the end of the product’s life cycle. Therefore, we proposed three frameworks that highlight this integration and expands the Design for Reverse Logistics perspective.
 
Article
El crear un negocio y la permanencia del mismo en el mercado, es determinado por diversas variables, para el 2019 y los años que le preceden se ha agregado como una más a la lista, el cual marca una gran diferencia, una línea entre en antes y el después, el COVID-19 llega para hacer grandes cambios que no solo afectan el sector de la salud. Crea un impacto en el entorno económico y esta variable jugará un papel determinante para el éxito o fracaso de los negocios ya consolidados y futuros.
 
Article
With rising market competition, organizations unceasingly strive to improve product offerings by adopting a modular product architecture. Modular product development (PD) is concerned with decisions to upgrade product modules that improve product value by enhancing one or several critical-to-value (CTV) attributes. CTV attributes are, in turn, controlled by the (technical) design decisions made at the module level. Here, an optimization model is presented to help PD managers choose the optimal subset of module upgrades from a large set of potential upgrades to maximize profits. The model is unique in considering the influences of the product architecture and product value on the selection of optimal modular upgrades. While some CTV attributes are discrete in nature, signifying the existence or absence of a product feature, others are continuous over a given range so that the level of desired improvement needs to be specified. The model can be used for both types (discrete and continuous) of attributes. The model is validated using a case study of a small-sized solar water-heating manufacturer. The case study demonstrates the complexity of modular PD decisions, regardless of the size of the investment project, and the effectiveness of the proposed model in the realization of potential profits.
 
Article
Resource allocation is an essential aspect of successful Product Development (PD). In this paper, we formulate the dynamic resource allocation problem of the PD process as a convex optimization problem. Specially, we build and solve two variants of this problem: the budget-constrained problem and the performance-constrained problem. We use convex optimization as a framework to optimally solve large problem instances at a relatively small computational cost. The solutions to both problems exhibit similar trends regarding resource allocation decisions and performance evolution. Furthermore, we show that the product architecture affects resource allocation, which in turn affects the performance of the PD process. By introducing centrality metrics for measuring the location of the modules and design rules within the product architecture, we find that resource allocation decisions correlate to their metrics. These results provide simple, but powerful, managerial guidelines for efficiently designing and managing the PD process. Finally, for validating the model and its results, we introduce and solve two design case studies for a mechanical manipulator and for an automotive appearance design process.
 
Article
In this paper, a new methodology was proposed for finding optimal robust-reliable parameter values of a space-based earth observation (SEO) mission based on a predefined multi-purpose platform considering influential uncertainties and human judgment. A deterministic optimization was performed using an evolutionary algorithm on the basis of platform capability and mission-required performance, simulated by a dynamic simulation-based model. A set of non-dominated solutions with different behaviors emerged. Then, samples of these solutions were selected and an uncertainty analysis was carried out. After that, a multiple attribute decision-making (MADM) problem was formed with two groups of attributes related to constraints҆ violations and variation of objective function value having unknown weights. Dominant ranking of the non-dominated solutions was obtained by simulating this MADM problem for adequate times with different random weights (human judgment effects). In the next step, given the outputs obtained from solving MADM problem, an optimal robust-reliable solution could be determined utilizing two approaches, response surface methodology (RSM) and forming a new uncertainty-based multidisciplinary design optimization (UMDO) problem. The results showed that utilizing MADM approach not only brings the effects of human judgment into design problem but also accelerates convergence to optimal robust-reliable solution in multimodal problems by bounding the search space without any risk regarding getting stuck in local optimal regions.
 
Article
The systems engineering of some systems often involves challenging modelling activity (MA). MA presents challenges, which include understanding the context in which it takes place, understanding and managing its impacts on the life cycles of the models it produces. In this paper, we propose a methodology and its underpinning framework for addressing these challenges and for coping with the operation of MA. The first step in our methodology is to characterize MA as a federation of systems. It then consists in iteratively building a system architecture by modelling the models produced by MA and their expected life cycles, modelling the various tasks that constitute MA, and modelling the effects of MA on these life cycles. It then makes it possible to specify expectations over these life cycles and to analyse models of MA in relation to expectations, to check how far expectations are achievable and to synthesize the acceptable behaviours of the system. Finally, a use of the results of this analysis may provide insightful data on how the system is end-to-end operated and how it might behave. On the basis of this information, informed decisions may be made to act on the logistics of MA. The hypotheses, theoretical foundations, the models, the algorithms and perspectives relating to the proposed methodology and its underpinning framework are all presented and discussed.
 
Article
In systems engineering, verification activities evaluate the extent to which a system under development satisfies its requirements. In large systems engineering projects, multiple firms are involved in the system development, and hence verification activities must be coordinated. Self-interest impedes the implementation of verification strategies that are beneficial for all firms while encouraging each firm to choose a verification strategy beneficial to itself. Incentives for verification activities can motivate a single firm to adopt verification strategies beneficial to all firms in the project, but these incentives must be offered judiciously to minimize unnecessary expenditures and prevent the abuse of goodwill. In this paper, we use game theory to model a contractor-subcontractor scenario, in which the subcontractor provides a component to the contractor, who further integrates it into their system. Our model uses belief distributions to capture each firm's epistemic uncertainty in their component's state prior to verification, and we use multiscale decision theory to model interdependencies between the contractor and subcontractor's design. We propose an incentive mechanism that aligns the verification strategies of the two firms and using our game-theoretic model, we identify those scenarios where the contractor benefits from incentivizing the subcontractor's verification activities.
 
Example of pocket projector, i.e., small hardware device designed to project content from a smartphone, camera, tablet, notebook or memory device onto a wall or other flat surface
Schematic representation and short description of four alternative design concepts of pocket projectors
Article
Aggregating the preferences of a group of experts is a recurring problem in several fields, including engineering design; in a nutshell, each expert formulates an ordinal ranking of a set of alternatives and the resulting rankings should be aggregated into a collective one. Many aggregation models have been proposed in the literature, showing strengths and weaknesses, in line with the implications of Arrow's impossibility theorem. Furthermore, the coherence of the collective ranking with respect to the expert rankings may change depending on: (i) the expert rankings themselves and (ii) the aggregation model adopted. This paper assesses this coherence for a variety of aggregation models, through a recent test based on the Kendall's coefficient of concordance (W), and studies the characteristics of those models that are most likely to achieve higher coherence. Interestingly, the so-called Borda count model often provides best coherence, with some exceptions in the case of collective rankings with ties. The description is supported by practical examples.
 
Article
At present, how to evaluate the impact of product design changes in product development process has been a problem to be solved. The research on product design changes has gradually shifted from the component level to the product feature level. Therefore, the components are divided into feature level, and a product feature network is built to analyse the propagation of changes. Because it is not unique to divide features of the component, three-dimensional (3D) entities are used to transit components into 2D features. The strong and weak ties are defined according to the relationship between the divided features, the product feature network is constructed by the divided features and defined ties. Three discrete states of feature nodes are defined based on the change propagation model and the meaning of change propagation index (CPI) in the feature network is proposed. By analysing two types of product feature change propagation and calculating its change probability, the impact of change propagation in the network can be evaluated. Finally, the feasibility of the proposed model is verified by constructing a featured network of a pumping unit and analysing its change propagation.
 
Top-cited authors
David C. Wynn
  • University of Auckland
P. John Clarkson
  • University of Cambridge
Claudia M. Eckert
  • The Open University (UK)
Tim C. McAloone
  • Technical University of Denmark
Kristin Lee Wood
  • University of Colorado