Engineering projects often undergo several design iterations before being completed. Information received from other groups working on a project (analysis, manufacturing, marketing, sales) will often necessitate changes in a design. The interaction between different groups associated with a design project often takes the form of informal “negotiation.” This form of interaction commonly arises when engineering information is imprecise. The Method of Imprecision (MOI) is a formal method for the representation and manipulation of preliminary and imprecise design information. It provides a mechanism for the formalization of these informal negotiations. The nature and scope of informal negotiation in engineering is explored and discussed, and application of the MOI is illustrated with an example.

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