This paper presents a novel framework for managing design processes using a formal grammar as the theoretical foundation to represent, manipulate and execute design processes. The grammatical approach allows designers to represent a complex activity concisely with a small number of higher-level tasks and to explore alternative processes within a space of feasible alternatives. These capabilities allow the engineers to “visualize” the design process so that they can fully understand the alternative methods before making any design decisions. The framework, called MIDAS, includes separate layers for process specification and execution. Using the process specification layer, designers can capture the overall design process and each designer can understand his or her task with respect to the whole design process. In the process execution layer, design tasks are executed according to the information in specification layer so that designers can be informed of the current design status, alternative design methods, and their impacts in a whole design process. The framework has the potential to improve design productivity by accessing, reusing, and revising previous processes for a similar design. We use a gearbox design process to demonstrate the framework.
Making Process Visible: A Grammatical Approach to Managing Design Processes
Contributed by the Design Theory & Methodology Committee for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received November 1998. Associate Editor: J. Cagon.
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Chung, M. J., Kwon, P., and Pentland, B. T. (August 6, 2002). "Making Process Visible: A Grammatical Approach to Managing Design Processes ." ASME. J. Mech. Des. September 2002; 124(3): 364–374. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1487358
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