A concept exploration method for determining robust top-level specifications

Wei Chen*, Janet K. Allen, Dimitri N. Mavris, Farrokh Mistree

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations


In the early stages of design of complex systems, it is necessary to explore the design space to determine a suitable range for specifications and identify feasible starting points for design. A Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) is developed to improve efficiency and effectiveness while making these early design decisions. An integrated design process is used to introduce quality consideration into the choice of robust top-level design specifications. This is achieved by integrating Taguchi's robust design principles and the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) into one multiobjective mathematical construct, namely, the compromise Decision Support Problem. The proposed approach is demonstrated for determining top-level specifications for airframe geometry and the propulsion system in the design of an integrated airframe/propulsion High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) system. The focus in this paper is on illustrating the approach rather than on the results per se.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-158
Number of pages22
JournalEngineering Optimization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Concept exploration
  • Decision support
  • Response surface method
  • Robust design
  • Specifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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