Research Papers

Progressive Design Processes and Bounded Rational Designers

[+] Author and Article Information
Jeffrey W. Herrmann

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742jwh2@umd.edu

J. Mech. Des 132(8), 081005 (Jul 21, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001902 History: Received October 09, 2009; Revised May 12, 2010; Published July 21, 2010; Online July 21, 2010

This paper presents a method for assessing the quality of a progressive design process by measuring the profitability of the product that the process generates. The proposed approach uses separations, a type of problem decomposition, to model progressive design processes. The subproblems in the separations correspond roughly to phases in the progressive design processes. The proposed method simulates the choices of a bounded rational designer for each subproblem using different search algorithms. This paper presents a simple two-variable problem to help describe the approach and then applies the approach to assess motor design processes. Different types and versions of these search processes are considered to determine if the results are robust to the decision-making model. The results indicate that well-designed progressive design processes are the best way to generate profitable product designs. Methods for assessing the quality of engineering design processes can be used to guide improvements to engineering design processes and generate more valuable products.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Sample points and solutions for two-variable example




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