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The Formal Modeling Of Engineering Design Information By Means Of An Axiomatic System

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posted on 07.01.2022, 20:30 authored by Filippo SalustriFilippo Salustri
There is mounting evidence in the current literature which suggests that our collective understanding of engineering design is insufficient to support the continued growth of the engineering endeavor. Design theory is the emergent research field that addresses this problem by seeking to improve our understanding of, and thus our ability to, design. The goal of this author's work is to demonstrate that formal techniques of logic can improve our understanding of design. Specifically, a formal system called the Hybrid Model (HM) is presented; this system is a set-theoretic description of engineering design information that is valid independent of (a) the processes that generate or manipulate the information and (b) the role of the human designer. Because of this, HM is universally applicable to the representation of design-specific information throughout all aspects of the engineering enterprise. The fundamental unit in HM is a design entity, which is defined as a unit of information relevant to a design task. The axioms of HM define the structure of design entities and the explicit means by which they may be rationally organized. HM provides (a) a basis for building taxonomies of design entities, (b) a generalized approach for making statements about design entities independent of how the entities are generated or used, and (c) a formal syntactic notation for the standardization of design entity specification. Furthermore, HM is used as the foundation of DESIGNER, an extension to the Scheme programming language, providing a prototype-based object-oriented system for the static modeling of design information. Objects in the DESIGNER language satisfy the axioms of HM while providing convenient programming mechanisms to increase usability and efficiency. Several design-specific examples demonstrate the applicability of DESIGNER, and thus of HM as well, to the accurate representation of design information.



Filippo A. Salustri




Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Ronald D. Venter