On a New Approach to Mechanism Topology Identification

[+] Author and Article Information
W. J. Zhang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada

Q. Li

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 5005, Australia

J. Mech. Des 121(1), 57-64 (Mar 01, 1999) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2829430 History: Received May 01, 1996; Revised November 01, 1998; Online December 11, 2007


This paper argues that different levels of mechanism topology should be considered in order to make the activity or tool of the computer comparison of mechanism topology more useful to support a whole design process of mechanisms. In this connection, four abstraction levels are identified to relate the different types of mechanism topology with reference to mechanism design tasks, processes or objectives. A new approach is developed to compare mechanism topology for all these levels. One of the ideas of this approach is to extend the existing incident degree code approach by identifying more features of mechanism topology and to define them into an extended code. This is further enhanced by an algorithm to perform permutation (without a need of exhaustive enumeration) within a group of vertices that have the same features. Examples are given to show how the approach works. Compared with some existing methods for mechanism topology identification, this approach is shown to be more effective and efficient.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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