Research Papers

Automatically Transforming Object-Oriented Graph-Based Representations Into Boolean Satisfiability Problems for Computational Design Synthesis

[+] Author and Article Information
Clemens Münzer

Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory,
ETH Zürich, Tannenstr. 3, CH-8092, Zürich,
e-mail: muenzerc@ethz.ch

Bergen Helms

Institute of Product Development, Technische Universität München,
Boltzmannstr. 15, DE-85748, Garching,
e-mail: helms@pe.mw.tum.de

Kristina Shea

Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory,
ETH Zürich, Tannenstr. 3, CH-8092, Zürich
e-mail: kshea@ethz.ch


brings object-oriented graph grammars into engineering.

Intel Xeon CPU E31245, 8 GB RAM, Windows7 64bit, SAT4J.

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanical Design. Manuscript received March 13, 2013; final manuscript received June 7, 2013; published online July 15, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Irem Y. Tumer.

J. Mech. Des 135(10), 101001 (Jul 15, 2013) (13 pages) Paper No: MD-13-1119; doi: 10.1115/1.4024850 History: Received March 13, 2013; Revised June 07, 2013

Ever since computers have been used to support human designers, a variety of representations have been used to encapsulate engineering knowledge. Computational design synthesis (CDS) approaches utilize this knowledge to generate design candidates for a specified task. However, new approaches are required to enable systematic solution space exploration. This paper presents an approach that combines a graph-based object-oriented knowledge representation with first-order logic and Boolean satisfiability. This combination is used as the foundation for a generic automated approach for requirement-driven computational design synthesis. Available design building blocks and a design task defined through a set of requirements are modeled in a graph-based environment and then automatically transferred into a Boolean satisfiability problem and solved, considering a given solution size. The Boolean solution is automatically transferred back to the graph-based domain. The method is validated through two case studies: synthesis of automotive powertrains and chemical process synthesis for ethyl alcohol production. The contribution of the paper is a new method that is able to determine if an engineering task is solvable for a given set of synthesis building blocks and enables systematic solution space exploration.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Graph-based product model using function, behavior, and structure levels and design synthesis process steps [5]

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Fig. 2

Example taxonomy of flow-ports

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Fig. 3

A connection between a clutch and a gearbox as an example for elements and their connections. Throughout this paper, the in-ports are always located on the left-hand side and the out-ports always on the right-hand side of the element.

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Fig. 5

A port-matching-problem example and its corresponding problem element

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Fig. 6

First-order logic general taxonomy with example ports and elements

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Fig. 7

Meaning of the predicates

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Fig. 8

Example element E1

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Fig. 9

Port hierarchy for chemical process synthesis

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Fig. 10

Element hierarchy for chemical process synthesis

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Fig. 11

The three generated process alternatives for the chemical process synthesis task

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Fig. 12

Metamodel for the approach of Helms and Shea [5]

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Fig. 13

Metamodel for this work

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Fig. 14

The elements structured in categories over their abstracted port configuration from Fig. 13

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Fig. 15

Unique solution (Scope: 11/30, calculation time: 28 min)

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Fig. 16

Structures enhancing the unique solutions. The subtopologies on the left-hand side can be replaced by those on the right-hand side.

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Fig. 17

Comparison between a unique and an enhanced solution




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