An `AI in Design' View of Design

Design Optimization

Does the system attempt to optimize the design from some point of view?

Discussion. A design system searches for a solution to the design problem, not necessarily for an optimal solution (i.e., ``satisficing'' may be enough). The optimality goal can be included in the basic design method or can be added as a subsequent phase in the design process. Optimization always depends on the objectives. The design might require a minimal number of components, which means that function sharing will be emphasized [Ulrich 1992]. Minimal cost will impose constraints on the cost of the individual components and on the manufacturing operations. The most difficult problems are those where multiple optimization goals are pursued. Another potential difficulty is the fact that global optimization goals are sometimes hard to translate into decisions at the local level of components.

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