Determination of ranged sets of design specifications by incorporating design-space heterogeneity

Huibin Liu, Wei Chen*, Michael J. Scott, Khurshid Qureshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Setting design specifications (targets) is a critical task in the early stages of the design process. Flexible targets can accommodate uncertainty and changes in design by postponing design commitments and preserving design freedom. In this article, a new method is developed for obtaining a ranged set of design specifications that meets design criteria whilst incorporating design-space heterogeneity; meaning some areas in the design attribute space are more achievable than the others. The proposed method has two notable features. First, a quantization algorithm based on rough-set theory is used to decompose a design attribute space into sub-regions on the basis of how well they meet design criteria. Second, a new design-flexibility measure is used as a metric to select the most desired 'target region' on the bases of both the size of the region and the influence of potential design alternatives on overall achievability. The proposed approach enhances the capacity of a design system to adapt to evolving design knowledge, as well as to unexpected changes. The proposed method is demonstrated by a numerical example and the design of a domestic blender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1029
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering Optimization
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Design attribute
  • Design specification
  • Flexibility
  • Heterogeneity
  • Ranged set of targets

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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