UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERING SYSTEMS THROUGH THE ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE GENOME: STRUCTURAL GENES OF SYSTEMS TOPOLOGIES
DS 68-6: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 6: Design Information and Knowledge, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Chen, W.
Author: Shai, Offer; Reich, Yoram
Section: Design Information and Knowledge Management
The design of contemporary products requires knowledge from diverse disciplines. Presently, there is very little common denominator among engineering disciplines. This state of affairs is hurting practice, potentially leading to failures. Similar to the knowledge genome in biology, we briefly present the concept of the Interdisciplinary Engineering Knowledge Genome (IEKG) as a foundation for integrating engineering disciplines. We review the concepts of sysyetm and method genes and present a new type of gene – structural system gene – that serves as a building block from which well-constrained systems in diverse disciplines could be constructed. We illustrate how these genes are used in analysis and syntesis in several disciplines. Each of these illustrations is a contribution in its own right in the particular discipline, yet they are derived from the same genes. These results demonstrate the power of the IEKG, as a theoretical construct, to engineering design. Further benefits could be obtained by incorporating additional disciplines into the IEKG, discovery of new genes, and enrichment of systems and method genes in a bootstrapping fashion.