Research Papers

Computational Synthesis of Product Architectures Based on Object-Oriented Graph Grammars

[+] Author and Article Information
Bergen Helms

Virtual Product Development Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Product Development,  Technische Universität München, Boltzmannstraße 15, Garching 85748, Germanyhelms@pe.mw.tum.de

Kristina Shea

Virtual Product Development Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Product Development,  Technische Universität München, Boltzmannstraße 15, Garching 85748, Germanyshea@pe.mw.tum.de

J. Mech. Des 134(2), 021008 (Feb 03, 2012) (14 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005592 History: Received March 03, 2011; Revised October 28, 2011; Published February 03, 2012

Computational design synthesis aims to iteratively and automatically generate solution spaces of standard and novel design alternatives to support the innovation process. New approaches are required to generate alternative solutions at the function and behavior level as well as to ease the computational modeling of design knowledge. This paper introduces the approach of object-oriented graph grammars for the computational synthesis of product models based on a Function–Behavior–Structure (FBS) representation. The approach combines the advantages of a generic and systematic design method with a highly computable graph representation and object-oriented concepts. Through this combination, advances in terms of extendibility, efficiency, and flexible formalization of declarative and procedural engineering knowledge are achieved. Validation of the method is given through the synthesis of hybrid powertrains. The generation of hybrid powertrain solution spaces is shown, especially focusing on the impact of an evolving vocabulary, or building blocks, for synthesis. Future work includes integrating search methods in the synthesis process along with quantitative evaluation using simulation methods.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Graph-based product model based on FBS and design process steps

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Figure 2

Definition and application of object-oriented graph grammars for computational design synthesis [39]

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Figure 3

General structure of a FBS metamodel

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Figure 4

General rule sequence for the synthesis of FBS models

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Figure 5

Exemplary application of the general rule sequence in Fig. 4

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Figure 6

Problem-specific element types within the evolving metamodel for the synthesis of hybrid powertrains

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Figure 7

Functional model as initial graph

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Figure 8

Example synthesis procedure

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Figure 9

Synthesized powertrain architecture realizing all high-level functions. Only the structure level is shown.

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Figure 10

Model transformation of a product architecture into a simulation model, e.g., in AMESIM



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