Formalizing and exploring the transferability of inclusive design rules

Shraddha Sangelkar, Daniel A. McAdams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inclusive products intend to equally serve people with and without a disability. This paper focuses on creating guidelines that are applicable during the early stages of designing inclusive products. Actionfunction diagrams are used to formally compare existing inclusive products to their typical counterparts to study the design similarities and differences in the context of accessibility. A data mining technique, association rule learning, generates rules through comparison of inclusive and typical product data. In prior work, generation of function-based association rules for inclusive design has been performed on a smaller scale using this method; this research seeks to extend and formalize the same method, by studying a larger set of inclusive products. Trends in the generation of rules are analyzed indicating that a finite set of rules should be applicable to an arbitrarily large set of products. Further, the rules are analyzed in detail to evaluate their potential for transferability and reuse from one product to another. Of particular interest is the transferability of the rules across apparently disparate product domains such as garden tools and residential furniture. The conceptual and physical similarity of the rules is discussed in the context of creating inclusive product families based on a platform of inclusive elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number091004
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


Dive into the research topics of 'Formalizing and exploring the transferability of inclusive design rules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this