Expanding design analysis to include lifecycle considerations makes design decision making more complex. This paper presents a methodology for structuring the lifecycle of the design decision making process itself in order to efficiently utilize designers’ time. The first step involves organizing performance objectives and decision variables into a hierarchical matrix structure defining the design space. Then, vertex partitioning is performed on a graph representation of the design space to delineate distinct stages where only a subset of decision variables are analyzed. An example of the parametric design of an artificial hip illustrates the methodology.

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