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ESTIMATING THE OPTIMAL NUMBER OF ALTERNATIVES TO BE EXPLORED IN LARGE DESIGN SPACES



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This document contains the draft version of the following paper S K Gupta and C Xu Estimating the optimal number of alternatives to be explored in large design spaces A step towards incorporating decision making cost in design decision models ASME Computers in Engineering Conference Montreal Canada September 2002 Readers are encouraged to get the official version from the conference proceedings or by contacting Dr S K Gupta skgupta umd edu ESTIMATING THE OPTIMAL NUMBER OF ALTERNATIVES TO BE EXPLORED IN LARGE DESIGN SPACES A STEP TOWARDS INCORPORATING DECISION MAKING COST IN DESIGN DECISION MODELS Satyandra K Gupta Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Systems Research University of Maryland College Park MD 20742 skgupta eng umd edu ABSTRACT Exploration of design spaces is an important step in decision based design In consumer product development precise design specifications are not known at the beginning of the design process It is usually design team s responsibility to find out the specifications as a part of the design process This results in large design spaces in consumer product development Furthermore market window is usually limited Thus it is impractical to examine all possible design alternatives As part of the design process design teams need to determine how many alternatives to examine and how much evaluation time should be devoted to examining each alternative This paper presents a model for estimating the optimal number of alternatives to be explored and the optimal evaluation time for each alternative by incorporating cost of decision making in the overall design decision model We also describe a design case study and investigate how characteristics of design task parameters influence the optimal number of alternatives and the optimal evaluation time Our results indicate that it is difficult to intuitively identify the optimal values of the number of alternatives and the evaluation time for even very simple design tasks We describe



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