EXPLORING POTENTIALS FOR CONSERVATIONAL REASONING USING TOPOLOGIC RULES OF FUNCTION STRUCTURE GRAPHS
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Dong, A.
Author: Sen, Chiradeep; Summers, Joshua; Mocko, Gregory Michael
Section: Design Methods and Tools Part 1
This paper explores the possibility of supporting automated function-based reasoning in the conceptual design phase, specifically, reasoning needed to perform physics-based concept validation. Eleven atomic tasks of topologic reasoning, divided in two categories, connectedness and derivation, are identified that could be used to check graph-based function structures against conservation laws using only the count and types of flows attached to the functions. This reasoning is illustrated by simulating the sequential actions of a designer developing a new mechanical device. Next, recently proposed formal definitions of function verbs are used to explore the possibility of supporting additional quantitative reasoning toward conservational concept validation. Finally, these findings are used to identify information elements that must be captured in a formal representation of mechanical functions in order to support this reasoning.