Recent advancements in computing power and speed provide opportunities to revolutionize trade space exploration, particularly for the design of complex systems such as automobiles, aircraft, and spacecraft. In this paper, we introduce three Visual Steering Commands to support trade space exploration and demonstrate their use within a powerful data visualization tool that allows designers to explore multidimensional trade spaces using glyph, 1-D and 2-D histogram, 2-D scatter, scatter matrix, and parallel coordinate plots; linked views; brushing; preference shading and Pareto frontier display. In particular, we define three user-guided samplers that enable designers to explore (1) the entire design space, (2) near a point of interest, or (3) within a region of high preference. We illustrate these three samplers with a vehicle configuration model that evaluates the technical feasibility of new vehicle concepts. Future research is also discussed.

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