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.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Ramani, K. , Skerlos, S. , and Slocum, A. , 2010, “ Sustainable Design?” ASME J. Mech. Des., 132(9), p. 090301. [CrossRef]
Tibor, T. , and Feldman, I. , 1996, ISO 14000: A Guide to the New Environmental Management Standards, Irwin Professional Pub, New York.
Willems, S. P. , 2008, “ Data Set Real-World Multi Echelon Supply Chains Used for Inventory Optimization,” Manuf. Serv. Oper. Manage., 10(1), pp. 19–23.
Gloria, T. P. , Lippiatt, B. C. , and Cooper, J. , 2007, “ Life Cycle Impact Assessment Weights to Support Environmentally Preferable Purchasing in the United States,” Environ. Sci. Technol., 41(21), pp. 7551–7557. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lazzarini, S. G. , Chaddad, F. R. , and Cook, M. L. , 2001, “ Integrating Supply Chain and Network Analyses: The Study of Netchains,” J. Chain Network Sci., 1(1), pp. 7–22. [CrossRef]
Green, T. M. , Ribarsky, W. , and Fisher, B. , 2008, “ Visual Analytics for Complex Concepts Using a Human Cognition Model,” IEEE Symposium on Visual Analytics Science and Technology, VAST’08, Columbus, OH, Oct. 19–24, pp. 91–98.
Shafiei-Monfared, S. , and Jenab, K. , 2012, “ A Novel Approach for Complexity Measure Analysis in Design Projects,” J. Eng. Des., 23(3), pp. 185–194. [CrossRef]
Modrak, V. , and Marton, D. , 2012, “ Modelling and Complexity Assessment of Assembly Supply Chain Systems,” Procedia Eng., 48, pp. 428–435. [CrossRef]
ElMaraghy, W. , ElMaraghy, H. , Tomiyama, T. , and Monostori, L. , 2012, “ Complexity in Engineering Design and Manufacturing,” CIRP Ann. Manuf. Technol., 61(2), pp. 793–814. [CrossRef]
Agarwal, A. , Shankar, R. , and Tiwari, M. , 2006, “ Modeling the Metrics of Lean, Agile and Leagile Supply Chain: An ANP-Based Approach,” Eur. J. Oper. Res., 173(1), pp. 211–225. [CrossRef]
Inman, R. R. , and Blumenfeld, D. E. , 2014, “ Product Complexity and Supply Chain Design,” Int. J. Prod. Res., 52(7), pp. 1956–1969. [CrossRef]
Wagner, S. M. , and Neshat, N. , 2010, “ Assessing the Vulnerability of Supply Chains Using Graph Theory,” Int. J. Prod. Econ., 126(1), pp. 121–129. [CrossRef]
Keller, R. , Eckert, C. M. , and Clarkson, P. J. , 2006, “ Matrices or Node-Link Diagrams: Which Visual Representation is Better for Visualising Connectivity Models?” Inf. Visualization, 5(1), pp. 62–76. [CrossRef]
Rufiange, S. , McGuffin, M. J. , and Fuhrman, C. P. , 2012, “ Treematrix: A Hybrid Visualization of Compound Graphs,” Comput. Graphics Forum, 31(1), pp. 89–101. [CrossRef]
Minegishi, S. , and Thiel, D. , 2000, “ System Dynamics Modeling and Simulation of a Particular Food Supply Chain,” Simul. Pract. Theory, 8(5), pp. 321–339. [CrossRef]
Greer, J. , 2013, “ GIS: The Missing Tool for Supply-Chain Design,” Foresight, 28, pp. 44–49.
Hu, Z.-H. , Yang, B. , Huang, Y.-F. , and Meng, Y.-P. , 2010, “ Visualization Framework for Container Supply Chain by Information Acquisition and Presentation Technologies,” J. Software, 5(11), pp. 1236–1242. [CrossRef]
Kassem, M. , Dawood, N. , Benghi, C. , Siddiqui, M. , and Mitchell, D. , 2010, “ Coordinaton and Visualization of Distributed Schedules in the Construction Supply Chain: A Potential Solution,” 10th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, CONVR2010 Organizing Committee, pp. 77–86.
Kamath, M. , Srivathsan, S. , Ingalls, R. G. , Shen, G. , and Pulat, P. S. , 2011, “ TISCSoft: A Decision Support System for Transportation Infrastructure and Supply Chain System Planning,” 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Kauai, HI, Jan. 4–7, pp. 1–9.
Lin, G. , Ettl, M. , Buckley, S. , Bagchi, S. , Yao, D. D. , Naccarato, B. L. , Allan, R. , Kim, K. , and Koenig, L. , 2000, “ Extended-Enterprise Supply-Chain Management at IBM Personal Systems Group and Other Divisions,” Interfaces, 30(1), pp. 7–25. [CrossRef]
Isaksson, R. , Johansson, P. , and Fischer, K. , 2010, “ Detecting Supply Chain Innovation Potential for Sustainable Development,” J. Bus. Ethics, 97(3), pp. 425–442. [CrossRef]
Sundarakani, B. , De Souza, R. , Goh, M. , Wagner, S. M. , and Manikandan, S. , 2010, “ Modeling Carbon Footprints Across the Supply Chain,” Int. J. Prod. Econ., 128(1), pp. 43–50. [CrossRef]
Bonanni, L. , Hockenberry, M. , Zwarg, D. , Csikszentmihalyi, C. , and Ishii, H. , 2010, “ Small Business Applications of Sourcemap: A Web Tool for Sustainable Design and Supply Chain Transparency,” SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, pp. 937–946.
Hu, S. , Zhu, X. , Wang, H. , and Koren, Y. , 2008, “ Product Variety and Manufacturing Complexity in Assembly Systems and Supply Chains,” CIRP Ann. Manuf. Technol., 57(1), pp. 45–48. [CrossRef]
Nepal, B. , Monplaisir, L. , and Famuyiwa, O. , 2012, “ Matching Product Architecture With Supply Chain Design,” Eur. J. Oper. Res., 216(2), pp. 312–325. [CrossRef]
Khan, O. , Christopher, M. , and Creazza, A. , 2012, “ Aligning Product Design With the Supply Chain: A Case Study,” Supply Chain Manage., 17(3), pp. 323–336. [CrossRef]
Ülkü, S. , and Schmidt, G. M. , 2011, “ Matching Product Architecture and Supply Chain Configuration,” Prod. Oper. Manage., 20(1), pp. 16–31. [CrossRef]
Eckert, C. , Clarkson, P. J. , and Zanker, W. , 2004, “ Change and Customisation in Complex Engineering Domains,” Res. Eng. Des., 15(1), pp. 1–21. [CrossRef]
Pirolli, P. , and Card, S. , 2005, “ The Sensemaking Process and Leverage Points for Analyst Technology as Identified Through Cognitive Task Analysis,” International Conference on Intelligence Analysis, Vol. 5, pp. 2–4.
Keller, R. , Flanagan, T. , Eckert, C. M. , and Clarkson, P. J. , 2006, “ Two Sides of the Story: Visualising Products and Processes in Engineering Design,” 10th International Conference on Information Visualization, IV 2006, London, Jul. 5–7, pp. 362–367.
Giffin, M. , de Weck, O. , Bounova, G. , Keller, R. , Eckert, C. , and Clarkson, P. J. , 2009, “ Change Propagation Analysis in Complex Technical Systems,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 131(8), p. 081001. [CrossRef]
Goodwin, S. , Dykes, J. , Jones, S. , Dillingham, I. , Dove, G. , and Duffy, A. , 2013, “ Creative User-Centered Visualization Design for Energy Analysts and Modelers,” IEEE Trans. Visualization Comput. Graphics, 19(12), pp. 2516–2525. [CrossRef]
Salustri, F. A. , and Parmar, J. , 2004, “ Diagrammatic Visualisation of Early Product Development Information,” ASME Paper No. DETC2004-57013.
Lechevalier, D. , Narayanan, A. , Reidy, S. , Morris, K. , and Rachuri, R. , 2013, “ NIST Ontological Visualization Interface for Standards: Users Guide,” NIST Interagency/Internal Rep. (NISTIR), Report No. 7945.
Chandrasegaran, S. K. , Ramani, K. , Sriram, R. D. , Horváth, I. , Bernard, A. , Harik, R. F. , and Gao, W. , 2013, “ The Evolution, Challenges, and Future of Knowledge Representation in Product Design Systems,” Comput. Aided Des., 45(2), pp. 204–228. [CrossRef]
Blondel, V. D. , Guillaume, J.-L. , Lambiotte, R. , and Lefebvre, E. , 2008, “ Fast Unfolding of Communities in Large Networks,” J. Stat. Mech., 2008(10), p. P10008. [CrossRef]
Skiena, S. , 1990, Implementing Discrete Mathematics: Combinatorics and Graph Theory With Mathematica, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.
Perra, N. , and Fortunato, S. , 2008, “ Spectral Centrality Measures in Complex Networks,” Phys. Rev. E, 78(3), p. 036107. [CrossRef]
Bertin, J. , 1983, Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps (WJ Berg, Trans.), The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI.
Carpendale, M. , 2003, “ Considering Visual Variables as a Basis for Information Visualisation,” Computer Science Technical Report No. 2001-693.
Tufte, E. R. , and Graves-Morris, P. , 2001, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Vol. 2, Graphics Press, Cheshire, CT.
Elmqvist, N. , and Yi, J. S. , 2013, “ Patterns for Visualization Evaluation,” Inf. Visualization, 14(3), pp. 250–269. [CrossRef]
Tory, M. , and Moller, T. , 2005, “ Evaluating Visualizations: Do Expert Reviews Work?” Comput. Graphics Appl., 25(5), pp. 8–11. [CrossRef]
Hart, S. G. , and Staveland, L. E. , 1988, “ Development of NASA-TLX (Task Load Index): Results of Empirical and Theoretical Research,” Adv. Psychol., 52, pp. 139–183.
Brooke, J. , 1996, “ SUS—A Quick and Dirty Usability Scale,” Usability Evaluation in Industry, Taylor & Francis, London, pp. 189–194.
Shneiderman, B. , 2002, “ Inventing Discovery Tools: Combining Information Visualization With Data Mining,” Information Visualization, 1(1), pp. 5–12.


Grahic Jump Location
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.

Grahic Jump Location
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.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

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

Grahic Jump Location
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.

Grahic Jump Location
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.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

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




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In