EQUILIBRIUM DESIGN PROBLEMS IN COMPLEX SYSTEMS REALIZATION
DS 68-4: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 4: Product and Systems Design, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Lindemann, U.
Author: Panchal, Jitesh
Section: Product and Systems Design
We present a class of problems within engineering design where the design of complex systems is not directly controlled by designers but emerges from the self-interested decisions of stakeholders. These problems are referred to as equilibrium design problems. While such problems have been common in economics and social sciences, they have not yet been addressed in engineering design research. This is because the focus in engineering design is on technical performance with the assumption that designers directly control the design space. However, with the increasingly interconnected nature of the technical, social, economic and environmental aspects, equilibrium design problems become more important for designers. Instead of solving a specific equilibrium design problem, the goals in this paper are to highlight the importance and uniqueness of this class of problems and to present a general formulation within the context of engineering design. Specifically, we present a general formulation by using concepts from non-cooperative game theory, mathematical tools for solving them, and various examples of problems relevant to engineering design that can be modeled as equilibrium design problems.