Product family commonality selection using optimization and interactive visualization

Ritesh Khire, Jiachuan Wang, Trevor Bailey, Yao Lin, Timothy W. Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


High dimensionality and computational complexity are curses typically associated with many product family design problems. In this chapter, we discuss interactive methods that combine two traditional technologies—optimization and visualization—to create new and powerful strategies to expedite high dimensional design space exploration and product family commonality selection. In particular, three different methods are compared and contrasted: (1) exhaustive search with visualization, (2) individual product optimization with visualization, and (3) product family optimization with visualization. Among these three, the individual product optimization with visualization method appears to be the most suitable one for engineering designers who do not have a strong optimization background. This method allows designers to “shop” for the best designs iteratively, while gaining key insight into the trade-off between commonality and individual product performance. The study is conducted in the context of designing a product family using an in-house, system-level simulation tool. The challenges associated with (1) design space exploration involving mixed-type design variables and infeasibility and (2) visualizing product family design spaces during commonality selection are addressed. Our findings indicate a positive impact on the company’s current approach to product family design and commonality selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Product Family and Product Platform Design
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Applications
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781461479376
ISBN (Print)9781461479369
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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