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Research Papers: Design Theory and Methodology

Mutually Coordinated Visualization of Product and Supply Chain Metadata for Sustainable Design

[+] Author and Article Information
William Z. Bernstein

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: wbernste@purdue.edu

Devarajan Ramanujan

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Devadatta M. Kulkarni, Jeffrey Tew

Cincinnati Innovation Lab,
Tata Consultancy Services,
Milford, OH 45150

Niklas Elmqvist

College of Information Studies,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742

Fu Zhao

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Karthik Ramani

School of Mechanical Engineering,
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received November 17, 2014; final manuscript received July 24, 2015; published online October 15, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Andy Dong.

J. Mech. Des 137(12), 121101 (Oct 15, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1742; doi: 10.1115/1.4031293 History: Received November 17, 2014; Revised July 24, 2015

In this paper, we present a novel visualization framework for product and supply chain metadata in the context of redesign-related decision scenarios. Our framework is based on the idea of overlaying product-related metadata onto the interactive graph representations of a supply chain and its associated product architecture. By coupling environmental data with graph-based visualizations of product architecture, our framework provides a novel decision platform for expert designers. Here, the user can balance the advantages of a redesign opportunity and manage the associated risk on the product and supply chain. For demonstration, we present ViSER, an interactive visualization tool that provides an interface consisting of different mutually coordinated views providing multiple perspectives on a particular supply chain presentation. To explore the utility of ViSER, we conduct a domain expert exploration using a case study of peripheral computer equipment. Results indicate that ViSER enables new affordances within the decision making process for supply chain redesign.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Graph-based visualization of a real-world supply chain of computer peripheral equipment [3]. Each node carries product metadata depending on the supplychain echelon type, such as an assembly stage, part manufacturing, and warehousing.

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Fig. 2

The general pipeline of the data handling processes associated with our proposed visualization framework. Each module, shown in bold, explained within the provided section callout.

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Fig. 3

UML-based depiction of data representation in ViSER. Here, we show metadata that were incorporated into the prototype.

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Fig. 4

Visual variables with characteristics based off of Jacques Bertins basic visual units. Adapted from Carpendale [40].

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Fig. 5

Representation of mapping visual variables to graphical information. Position informs modularity, or community membership. Size is proportional to criteria of interest. Value of shading informs node type. The barchart corresponds directly to size of each node.

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Fig. 8

Results from each NASA TLX survey given after each task. The reported task loads were pooled for each category and then normalized against the highest reported value amongst all tasks.

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Fig. 9

Summarized results from the SUS survey regarding the overall functionality of the prototype software. Each bar specifies a single study participant.

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