In variant design, the proliferation of bills of materials makes it difficult for designers to find previous designs that would aid in completing a new design task. This research presents a novel, data mining approach to forming generic bills of materials (GBOMs), entities that represent the different variants in a product family and facilitate the search for similar designs and configuration of new variants. The technical difficulties include: (i) developing families or categories for products, assemblies, and component parts; (ii) generalizing purchased parts and quantifying their similarity; (iii) performing tree union; and (iv) establishing design constraints. These challenges are met through data mining methods such as text and tree mining, a new tree union procedure, and embodying the GBOM and design constraints in constrained XML. The paper concludes with a case study, using data from a manufacturer of nurse call devices, and identifies a new research direction for data mining motivated by the domains of engineering design and information.
A Data Mining Approach to Forming Generic Bills of Materials in Support of Variant Design Activities
Contributed by the Engineering Informatics (EIX) Committee for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received February 27, 2004; revised September 8, 2004. Associate Editor: S. Urban.
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Romanowski , , C. J., and Nagi, R. (January 4, 2005). "A Data Mining Approach to Forming Generic Bills of Materials in Support of Variant Design Activities ." ASME. J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. December 2004; 4(4): 316–328. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1812556
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