Matching Items (9)

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Problem map: a framework for investigating the role of problem formulation in creative design

Description

Design problem formulation is believed to influence creativity, yet it has received only modest attention in the research community. Past studies of problem formulation are scarce and often have small

Design problem formulation is believed to influence creativity, yet it has received only modest attention in the research community. Past studies of problem formulation are scarce and often have small sample sizes. The main objective of this research is to understand how problem formulation affects creative outcome. Three research areas are investigated: development of a model which facilitates capturing the differences among designers' problem formulation; representation and implication of those differences; the relation between problem formulation and creativity.

This dissertation proposes the Problem Map (P-maps) ontological framework. P-maps represent designers' problem formulation in terms of six groups of entities (requirement, use scenario, function, artifact, behavior, and issue). Entities have hierarchies within each group and links among groups. Variables extracted from P-maps characterize problem formulation.

Three experiments were conducted. The first experiment was to study the similarities and differences between novice and expert designers. Results show that experts use more abstraction than novices do and novices are more likely to add entities in a specific order. Experts also discover more issues.

The second experiment was to see how problem formulation relates to creativity. Ideation metrics were used to characterize creative outcome. Results include but are not limited to a positive correlation between adding more issues in an unorganized way with quantity and variety, more use scenarios and functions with novelty, more behaviors and conflicts identified with quality, and depth-first exploration with all ideation metrics. Fewer hierarchies in use scenarios lower novelty and fewer links to requirements and issues lower quality of ideas.

The third experiment was to see if problem formulation can predict creative outcome. Models based on one problem were used to predict the creativity of another. Predicted scores were compared to assessments of independent judges. Quality and novelty are predicted more accurately than variety, and quantity. Backward elimination improves model fit, though reduces prediction accuracy.

P-maps provide a theoretical framework for formalizing, tracing, and quantifying conceptual design strategies. Other potential applications are developing a test of problem formulation skill, tracking students' learning of formulation skills in a course, and reproducing other researchers’ observations about designer thinking.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Engineering-based problem solving strategies In AP calculus: an investigation into high school student performance on related rate free-response problems

Description

A sample of 127 high school Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus students from two schools was utilized to study the effects of an engineering design-based problem solving strategy on student performance

A sample of 127 high school Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus students from two schools was utilized to study the effects of an engineering design-based problem solving strategy on student performance with AP style Related Rate questions and changes in conceptions, beliefs, and influences. The research design followed a treatment-control multiple post-assessment model with three periods of data collection. Four high school calculus classes were selected for the study, with one class designated as the treatment and three as the controls. Measures for this study include a skills assessment, Related Rate word problem assessments, and a motivation problem solving survey. Data analysis utilized a mixed methods approach. Quantitative analysis consisted of descriptive and inferential methods utilizing nonparametric statistics for performance comparisons and structural equation modeling to determine the underlying structure of the problem solving motivation survey. Statistical results indicate that time on task was a major factor in enhanced performance between measurement time points 1 and 2. In the experimental classroom, the engineering design process as a problem solving strategy emerged as an important factor in demonstrating sustained achievement across the measurement time series when solving volumetric rates of change as compared to traditional problem solving strategies. In the control classrooms, where traditional problem solving strategies were emphasized, a greater percentage of students than in the experimental classroom demonstrated enhanced achievement from point 1 to 2, but showed decrease in achievement from point 2 to 3 in the measurement time series. Results from the problem solving motivation survey demonstrated that neither time on task nor instruction strategy produced any effect on student beliefs about and perceptions of problem solving. Qualitative error analysis showed that type of instruction had little effect on the type and number of errors committed, with the exception of procedural errors from performing a derivative and errors decoding the problem statement. Results demonstrated that students who engaged in the engineering design-based committed a larger number of decoding errors specific to Pythagorean type Related Rate problems; while students who engaged in routine problem solving did not sustain their ability to correctly differentiate a volume equation over time. As a whole, students committed a larger number of misused data errors than other types of errors. Where, misused data errors are the discrepancy between the data as given in a problem and how the student used the data in problem solving.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Optimal design methods for increasing power performance of multiactuator robotic limbs

Description

In order for assistive mobile robots to operate in the same environment as humans, they must be able to navigate the same obstacles as humans do. Many elements are required

In order for assistive mobile robots to operate in the same environment as humans, they must be able to navigate the same obstacles as humans do. Many elements are required to do this: a powerful controller which can understand the obstacle, and power-dense actuators which will be able to achieve the necessary limb accelerations and output energies. Rapid growth in information technology has made complex controllers, and the devices which run them considerably light and cheap. The energy density of batteries, motors, and engines has not grown nearly as fast. This is problematic because biological systems are more agile, and more efficient than robotic systems. This dissertation introduces design methods which may be used optimize a multiactuator robotic limb's natural dynamics in an effort to reduce energy waste. These energy savings decrease the robot's cost of transport, and the weight of the required fuel storage system. To achieve this, an optimal design method, which allows the specialization of robot geometry, is introduced. In addition to optimal geometry design, a gearing optimization is presented which selects a gear ratio which minimizes the electrical power at the motor while considering the constraints of the motor. Furthermore, an efficient algorithm for the optimization of parallel stiffness elements in the robot is introduced. In addition to the optimal design tools introduced, the KiTy SP robotic limb structure is also presented. Which is a novel hybrid parallel-serial actuation method. This novel leg structure has many desirable attributes such as: three dimensional end-effector positioning, low mobile mass, compact form-factor, and a large workspace. We also show that the KiTy SP structure outperforms the classical, biologically-inspired serial limb structure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Development of uniform artificial soil deposition techniques on glass and photovoltaic coupons

Description

Soiling is one of the major environmental factors causing the negative performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules. Dust particles, air pollution particles, pollen, bird droppings and other industrial airborne particles are

Soiling is one of the major environmental factors causing the negative performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules. Dust particles, air pollution particles, pollen, bird droppings and other industrial airborne particles are some natural sources that cause soiling. The thickness of soiling layer has a direct impact on the performance of PV modules. This phenomenon occurs over a period of time with many unpredictable environmental variables indicated above. This situation makes it difficult to calculate or predict the soiling effect on performance. The dust particles vary from one location to the other in terms of particle size, color and chemical composition. These properties influence the extent of performance (current) loss, spectral loss and adhesion of soil particles on the surface of the PV modules. To address this uncontrolled environmental issues, research institutes around the world have started designing indoor artificial soiling stations to deposit soil layers in various controlled environments using reference soil samples and/or soil samples collected from the surface of PV modules installed in the locations of interest. This thesis is part of a twin thesis. The first thesis (this thesis) authored by Shanmukha Mantha is related to the development of soiling stations and the second thesis authored by Darshan Choudhary is associated with the characterization of the soiled samples (glass coupons, one-cell PV coupons and multi-cell PV coupons). This thesis is associated with the development of three types of indoor artificial soiling deposition techniques replicating the outside environmental conditions to achieve required soil density, uniformity and other required properties. The three types of techniques are: gravity deposition method, dew deposition method, and humid deposition method. All the three techniques were applied on glass coupons, single-cell PV laminates containing monocrystalline silicon cells and multi-cell PV laminates containing polycrystalline silicon cells. The density and uniformity for each technique on all targets are determined. In this investigation, both reference soil sample (Arizona road dust, ISO 12103-1) and the soil samples collected from the surface of installed PV modules were used. All the three techniques are compared with each other to determine the best method for uniform deposition at varying thickness levels. The advantages, limitations and improvements made in each technique are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Reliability based design optimization of systems with dynamic failure probabilities of components

Description

This research is to address the design optimization of systems for a specified reliability level, considering the dynamic nature of component failure rates. In case of designing a mechanical system

This research is to address the design optimization of systems for a specified reliability level, considering the dynamic nature of component failure rates. In case of designing a mechanical system (especially a load-sharing system), the failure of one component will lead to increase in probability of failure of remaining components. Many engineering systems like aircrafts, automobiles, and construction bridges will experience this phenomenon.

In order to design these systems, the Reliability-Based Design Optimization framework using Sequential Optimization and Reliability Assessment (SORA) method is developed. The dynamic nature of component failure probability is considered in the system reliability model. The Stress-Strength Interference (SSI) theory is used to build the limit state functions of components and the First Order Reliability Method (FORM) lies at the heart of reliability assessment. Also, in situations where the user needs to determine the optimum number of components and reduce component redundancy, this method can be used to optimally allocate the required number of components to carry the system load. The main advantage of this method is that the computational efficiency is high and also any optimization and reliability assessment technique can be incorporated. Different cases of numerical examples are provided to validate the methodology.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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An improved framework for design concept generation based on experiential and intuitive methods

Description

Conceptual design stage plays a critical role in product development. However, few systematic methods and tools exist to support conceptual design. The long term aim of this project is to

Conceptual design stage plays a critical role in product development. However, few systematic methods and tools exist to support conceptual design. The long term aim of this project is to develop a tool for facilitating holistic ideation for conceptual design. This research is a continuation of past efforts in ASU Design Automation Lab. In past research, an interactive software test bed (Holistic Ideation Tool - version 1) was developed to explore logical ideation methods. Ideation states were identified and ideation strategies were developed to overcome common ideation blocks. The next version (version 2) of the holistic ideation tool added Cascading Evolutionary Morphological Charts (CEMC) framework and intuitive ideation strategies (reframing, restructuring, random connection, and forced connection).

Despite these remarkable contributions, there exist shortcomings in the previous versions (version 1 and version 2) of the holistic ideation tool. First, there is a need to add new ideation methods to the holistic ideation tool. Second, the organizational framework provided by previous versions needs to be improved, and a holistic approach needs to be devised, instead of separate logical or intuitive approaches. Therefore, the main objective of this thesis is to make the improvements and to resolve technical issues that are involved in their implementation.

Towards this objective, a new web based holistic ideation tool (version 3) has been created. The new tool adds and integrates Knowledge Bases of Mechanisms and Components Off-The-Shelf (COTS) into logical ideation methods. Additionally, an improved CEMC framework has been devised for organizing ideas efficiently. Furthermore, the usability of the tool has been improved by designing and implementing a new graphical user interface (GUI) which is more user friendly. It is hoped that these new features will lead to a platform for the designers to not only generate creative ideas but also effectively organize and store them in the conceptual design stage. By placing it on the web for public use, the Testbed has the potential to be used for research on the ideation process by effectively collecting large amounts of data from designers.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Computer support for preliminary concept completion & evaluation/analysis of design concepts

Description

Creative design lies at the intersection of novelty and technical feasibility. These objectives can be achieved through cycles of divergence (idea generation) and convergence (idea evaluation) in conceptual design. The

Creative design lies at the intersection of novelty and technical feasibility. These objectives can be achieved through cycles of divergence (idea generation) and convergence (idea evaluation) in conceptual design. The focus of this thesis is on the latter aspect. The evaluation may involve any aspect of technical feasibility and may be desired at component, sub-system or full system level. Two issues that are considered in this work are: 1. Information about design ideas is incomplete, informal and sketchy 2. Designers often work at multiple levels; different aspects or subsystems may be at different levels of abstraction Thus, high fidelity analysis and simulation tools are not appropriate for this purpose. This thesis looks at the requirements for a simulation tool and how it could facilitate concept evaluation. The specific tasks reported in this thesis are: 1. The typical types of information available after an ideation session 2. The typical types of technical evaluations done in early stages 3. How to conduct low fidelity design evaluation given a well-defined feasibility question A computational tool for supporting idea evaluation was designed and implemented. It was assumed that the results of the ideation session are represented as a morphological chart and each entry is expressed as some combination of a sketch, text and references to physical effects and machine components. Approximately 110 physical effects were identified and represented in terms of algebraic equations, physical variables and a textual description. A common ontology of physical variables was created so that physical effects could be networked together when variables are shared. This allows users to synthesize complex behaviors from simple ones, without assuming any solution sequence. A library of 16 machine elements was also created and users were given instructions about incorporating them. To support quick analysis, differential equations are transformed to algebraic equations by replacing differential terms with steady state differences), only steady state behavior is considered and interval arithmetic was used for modeling. The tool implementation is done by MATLAB; and a number of case studies are also done to show how the tool works. textual description. A common ontology of physical variables was created so that physical effects could be networked together when variables are shared. This allows users to synthesize complex behaviors from simple ones, without assuming any solution sequence. A library of 15 machine elements was also created and users were given instructions about incorporating them. To support quick analysis, differential equations are transformed to algebraic equations by replacing differential terms with steady state differences), only steady state behavior is considered and interval arithmetic was used for modeling. The tool implementation is done by MATLAB; and a number of case studies are also done to show how the tool works.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Complexity measurement of cyber physical systems

Description

Modern automotive and aerospace products are large cyber-physical system involving both software and hardware, composed of mechanical, electrical and electronic components. The increasing complexity of such systems is a major

Modern automotive and aerospace products are large cyber-physical system involving both software and hardware, composed of mechanical, electrical and electronic components. The increasing complexity of such systems is a major concern as it impacts development time and effort, as well as, initial and operational costs. Towards the goal of measuring complexity, the first step is to determine factors that contribute to it and metrics to qualify it. These complexity components can be further use to (a) estimate the cost of cyber-physical system, (b) develop methods that can reduce the cost of cyber-physical system and (c) make decision such as selecting one design from a set of possible solutions or variants. To determine the contributions to complexity we conducted survey at an aerospace company. We found out three types of contribution to the complexity of the system: Artifact complexity, Design process complexity and Manufacturing complexity. In all three domains, we found three types of metrics: size complexity, numeric complexity (degree of coupling) and technological complexity (solvability).We propose a formal representation for all three domains as graphs, but with different interpretations of entity (node) and relation (link) corresponding to the above three aspects. Complexities of these components are measured using algorithms defined in graph theory. Two experiments were conducted to check the meaningfulness and feasibility of the complexity metrics. First experiment was mechanical transmission and the scope of this experiment was component level. All the design stages, from concept to manufacturing, were considered in this experiment. The second experiment was conducted on hybrid powertrains. The scope of this experiment was assembly level and only artifact complexity is considered because of the limited resources. Finally the calibration of these complexity measures was conducted at an aerospace company but the results cannot be included in this thesis.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Engineering empathy

Description

Engineering ethics is preoccupied with technical failure. To ameliorate the risk that engineering works might either blow up or fall down, the engineering code of ethics provides guidance of how

Engineering ethics is preoccupied with technical failure. To ameliorate the risk that engineering works might either blow up or fall down, the engineering code of ethics provides guidance of how engineers should conduct themselves. For example, the Fundamental Canons in the National Society of Professional Engineers code of ethics states that engineers should hold paramount the health, safety and welfare of the public. As a result, engineering designs meet basic human needs such as food, water and shelter -- at risks that are generally considered acceptable. However, even safe designs fail to meet our needs ranked higher in Maslow's hierarchy -- such as belonging, esteem and self-actualization. While these have historically not been ethical priorities, increasing expectations in developed countries now include more complex ethical concepts such as sustainability and social justice. We can expect these trends toward higher and more complex human needs to continue -- although the profession seems ill-prepared. We argue that an empathic approach to engineering design is necessary to meet these higher needs of developed and developing societies. To guide engineers towards this approach, we propose a pluralistic interpretation of empathy grounded in an understanding of the three parts of the mind: cognitive, affective, and conative. In fact, product designers already use empathy in their design processes. However, an exemplar of an empathic design is harder to find in civil engineering disciplines. This paper discusses an example of the Hoover Dam Bypass, which resulted in an award-winning design and construction that improved traffic flow, reduced vulnerability to terrorist attack, and accounted for historical factors and environmental impacts. However, this technical success is an empathic failure. Although project leaders commissioned ethnographic studies to understand the impact the bridge would have on the local Native American populations and their cultural sites, the eventual design showed little consideration of the concerns that were revealed. For engineering designs such as bridges, other infrastructure and systems to meet the needs of the various populations in which they serve, engineers need to incorporate empathy into their designs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016