Towards non-hierarchical system descriptions for automating functional analysis

DS 87-4 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 4: Design Methods and Tools, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Amrin, Andas (1); Spitas, Christos (1,2)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Nazarbayev University, Republic of Kazakhstan; 2: Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Section: Design Methods and Tools
Page(s): 218-228
ISBN: 978-1-904670-92-6
ISSN: 2220-4342


The case is made that current functional representation methods for engineering systems and in particular Function-Behaviour-State models rely on defining hierarchies of states, behaviours and functions that in turn rely for a large part on subjective designer input. With the goal of automating the functional description and analysis of such systems, basic concepts of an Idea Algebra are introduced, which allow the peer-to-peer non-hierarchical functional coupling of Ideas such as components and interfaces into so-called Synaptic Networks and the objective definition of system functions and subfunctions in terms of the states of the basic Ideas forming said networks. By offering a robust mathematical definition for system topology and functionality and dispensing with several subjective steps required by current methods, the presented framework opens significant possibilities for automating functional analysis.

Keywords: Design methodology, Product modelling / models, Functional modelling


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