In this paper we propose the use of a probabilistic-based design model as a basis for providing the flexibility in a design process that allows designs to be readily adapted to changing conditions. Our proposed approach can be used to develop a range of solutions that meet a ranged set of design requirements. Meanwhile, designers are allowed to specify the varying degree of desirability of a ranged set of design performance based on their preferences. The Design Preference Index (DPI) is introduced as a design metric to measure the goodness of flexible designs. Providing the foundation to our work are the probabilistic representations of design performance, the application of the robust design concept, and the utilization of the compromise Decision Support Problem (DSP) as a multiobjective decision model. A two-bar structural design is used as an example to demonstrate our approach. Our focus in this paper is on introducing the probabilistic-based design model and not on the results of the example problem, per se.

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