This paper proposes a framework for the modeling and evaluation of product design problems in a computer network-oriented design environment. The framework is intended to integrate designer-specified mathematical models for multi-disciplinary and multi-objective design problems. The goal is to provide the ability to rapidly construct integrated design problem models to facilitate collaborative design work, improve product quality and reduce development time. Ultimately, it should allow specialized engineering applications and design problem models to operate under a common design environment.
A product design problem is modeled in terms of interacting objects, called modules, each representing a specific aspect of the problem. Modules interact with one another through services that allow the exchange of information. Modules can encapsulate engineering models and data or software applications. The method is extended to create a distributed object-based modeling and evaluation framework for design problems.