A Method for Evaluation of Product Lifecycle Alternatives under Uncertainty

DS 58-6: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 6, Design Methods and Tools (pt. 2), Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Kota, Srinivas; Chakrabarti, Amaresh
Section: Design Methods and Tools
Page(s): 289-300


In each stage of product development, we need to take decisions, by evaluating multiple product alternatives based on multiple criteria. Classical evaluation methods like weighted objectives method assumes certainty about information available during product development. However, designers often must evaluate under uncertainty. Often the likely performance, cost or environmental impacts of a product proposal could be estimated only with certain confidence, which may vary from one proposal to another. In such situations, the classical approaches to evaluation can give misleading results. There is a need for a method that can aid in decision making by supporting quantitative comparison of alternatives to identify the most promising alternative, under uncertain information about the alternatives. A method called confidence weighted objectives method is developed to compare the whole life cycle of product proposals using multiple evaluation criteria under various levels of uncertainty with non crisp values. It estimates the overall worth of proposal and confidence on the estimate, enabling deferment of decision making when decisions cannot be made using current information available.

Keywords: uncertainty in design, decision making, multi-criteria evaluation, life cycle design, weighted average, interval arithmetic


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