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An Open Computing Infrastructure that Facilitates Integrated Product and Process Development from a Decision-Based PerspectiveComputer applications for design have evolved rapidly over the past several decades, and significant payoffs are being achieved by organizations through reductions in design cycle times. These applications are overwhelmed by the requirements imposed during complex, open engineering systems design. Organizations are faced with a number of different methodologies, numerous legacy disciplinary tools, and a very large amount of data. Yet they are also faced with few interdisciplinary tools for design collaboration or methods for achieving the revolutionary product designs required to maintain a competitive advantage in the future. These organizations are looking for a software infrastructure that integrates current corporate design practices with newer simulation and solution techniques. Such an infrastructure must be robust to changes in both corporate needs and enabling technologies. In addition, this infrastructure must be user-friendly, modular and scalable. This need is the motivation for the research described in this dissertation. The research is focused on the development of an open computing infrastructure that facilitates product and process design. In addition, this research explicitly deals with human interactions during design through a model that focuses on the role of a designer as that of decision-maker. The research perspective here is taken from that of design as a discipline with a focus on Decision-Based Design, Theory of Languages, Information Science, and Integration Technology. Given this background, a Model of IPPD is developed and implemented along the lines of a traditional experimental procedure: with the steps of establishing context, formalizing a theory, building an apparatus, conducting an experiment, reviewing results, and providing recommendations. Based on this Model, Design Processes and Specification can be explored in a structured and implementable architecture. An architecture for exploring design called DREAMS (Developing Robust Engineering Analysis Models and Specifications) has been developed which supports the activities of both meta-design and actual design execution. This is accomplished through a systematic process which is comprised of the stages of Formulation, Translation, and Evaluation. During this process, elements from a Design Specification are integrated into Design Processes. In addition, a software infrastructure was developed and is called IMAGE (Intelligent Multidisciplinary Aircraft Generation Environment). This represents a virtual apparatus in the Design Experiment conducted in this research. IMAGE is an innovative architecture because it explicitly supports design-related activities. This is accomplished through a GUI driven and Agent-based implementation of DREAMS. A HSCT design has been adopted from the Framework for Interdisciplinary Design Optimization (FIDO) and is implemented in IMAGE. This problem shows how Design Processes and Specification interact in a design system. In addition, the problem utilizes two different solution models concurrently: optimal and satisfying. The satisfying model allows for more design flexibility and allows a designer to maintain design freedom. As a result of following this experimental procedure, this infrastructure is an open system that it is robust to changes in both corporate needs and computer technologies. The development of this infrastructure leads to a number of significant intellectual contributions: 1) A new approach to implementing IPPD with the aid of a computer; 2) A formal Design Experiment; 3) A combined Process and Specification architecture that is language-based; 4) An infrastructure for exploring design; 5) An integration strategy for implementing computer resources; and 6) A seamless modeling language. The need for these contributions is emphasized by the demand by industry and government agencies for the development of these technologies.
Document ID
Document Type
Hale, Mark A. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1996
Subject Category
Computer Programming and Software
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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