Research Papers

Topological Information Content and Expressiveness of Function Models in Mechanical Design

[+] Author and Article Information
Chiradeep Sen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921csen@clemson.edu

Joshua D. Summers

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921jsummer@clemson.edu

Gregory M. Mocko

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921gmocko@clemson.edu

http://function2.device.mst.edu, (accessed on May 22, 2009).

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 10(3), 031003 (Aug 31, 2010) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3462918 History: Received June 05, 2009; Revised February 18, 2010; Published August 31, 2010; Online August 31, 2010

In this paper, two approaches for computing the topological information content of function models in mechanical engineering design are developed and compared. Previously, a metric for computing information content of functions and flows within function models was proposed. Here, this metric is evolved to include the information contained in the connections between flows and functions in a function model. The first approach is based on uniform unconditional probability of a flow connecting any two functions within the model. The second approach is based on additional knowledge that the functions and flows in a model have limited compatibility, thereby, reducing the choices for origin and destination functions for each flow. This additional knowledge is represented using a new graphical representation supported by syntactic grammar rules. Both approaches are then applied to an example function model. Comparison between the approaches shows that the inclusion of this additional knowledge increases the expressiveness by reducing the uncertainty associated with function models.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Function model of supermax Conair hairdryer stored in the design repository (13)

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Figure 2

Hairdryer function model using secondary verbs and secondary nouns (corrected)

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Figure 3

Illustrative scheme of communication between designers (13)

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Figure 4

Intermediate state of knowledge: disconnected function templates obtained by asking 90+110=200 binary questions

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Figure 5

Connection between import and transfer

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Figure 6

Minimally connected function model with four nodes




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