Ever since computers have been used to support human designers, a variety of representations have been used to encapsulate engineering knowledge. Computational design synthesis (CDS) approaches utilize this knowledge to generate design candidates for a specified task. However, new approaches are required to enable systematic solution space exploration. This paper presents an approach that combines a graph-based object-oriented knowledge representation with first-order logic and Boolean satisfiability. This combination is used as the foundation for a generic automated approach for requirement-driven computational design synthesis. Available design building blocks and a design task defined through a set of requirements are modeled in a graph-based environment and then automatically transferred into a Boolean satisfiability problem and solved, considering a given solution size. The Boolean solution is automatically transferred back to the graph-based domain. The method is validated through two case studies: synthesis of automotive powertrains and chemical process synthesis for ethyl alcohol production. The contribution of the paper is a new method that is able to determine if an engineering task is solvable for a given set of synthesis building blocks and enables systematic solution space exploration.
Automatically Transforming Object-Oriented Graph-Based Representations Into Boolean Satisfiability Problems for Computational Design Synthesis
Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanical Design. Manuscript received March 13, 2013; final manuscript received June 7, 2013; published online July 15, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Irem Y. Tumer.
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Münzer, C., Helms, B., and Shea, K. (July 15, 2013). "Automatically Transforming Object-Oriented Graph-Based Representations Into Boolean Satisfiability Problems for Computational Design Synthesis." ASME. J. Mech. Des. October 2013; 135(10): 101001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4024850
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