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Research Papers

The Effects of Language and Pruning on Function Structure Interpretability

[+] Author and Article Information
Benjamin W. Caldwell

 Clemson Engineering Design Applications and Research (CEDAR) Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 136 Fluor Daniel Building, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921

Jonathan E. Thomas

 Lexmark International, Inc., 740 W. New Circle Road, Lexington, KY 40550

Chiradeep Sen

School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, 204 Rogers Hall,  Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR97331

Gregory M. Mocko1

Joshua D. Summers

 Clemson Engineering Design Applications and Research (CEDAR) Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 243 Fluor Daniel Building, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921

1

Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 134(6), 061001 (Apr 24, 2012) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006442 History: Received September 23, 2011; Revised March 13, 2012; Published April 23, 2012; Online April 24, 2012

In this research, the interpretability of function structures is evaluated through a user study in which participants are given function structures and asked to identify the product that is modeled. Two abstraction factors are controlled in the experiment: the type of functions and the specificity of the terms, thus resulting in functional models are four level of abstraction. The user study shows that free language significantly improves the accuracy and speed of human interpretability over the functional basis vocabulary. Further, pruned function structures significantly improve the speed of interpretability over reverse-engineered function structures without a loss of accuracy. It is concluded that the levels of each factor are useful for different activities and stages of design. Recommendations are made for the appropriate combinations of factor levels for various design activities.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Vacuum cleaner function structure after applying pruning rules

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Rice cooker function structure at the RE-Free abstraction level

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Rice cooker function structure at the RE-FB abstraction level

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 5

Rice cooker function structure at the Pruned-FB abstraction level

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 6

Rice cooker function structure at the Pruned-Free abstraction level

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Vacuum cleaner function structure

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