An Intelligent Real Time Design (IRTD) methodology is presented for component selection applications under the reality of uncertain and incomplete information. A decision analytic approach is developed with the goal of assisting designers in making decisions that balance the cost of the limited resources consumed during the design process, such as the designer’s time, against the benefit to be derived from the utilization of those resources in terms of expectations of an improved design. This approach is shown to complement other formal methods for design based on interval arithmetic and qualitative optimization, and a general methodology is proposed for performing component selection utilizing a combination of these methods. An example application to the selection of rolling element bearings is presented to clarify the methodology and demonstrate its effectiveness in providing guidance to designers when selecting elements from a component database.

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