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A grammar for function structures

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This paper presents a combination of two design methodologies: function structures and graph grammars. The objective of this research is to provide a systematic language for creating function structures by applying the formalism of a graph grammar. Function structures are commonly used to spur new solution principles in conceptual design as well as aid in redesigning existing solutions. Recent function structures research has provided a systematic basis of functions that indicate such structures can be described by a finite number of common functions. However, function structures remain difficult to evaluate both in terms of correctness and effectiveness, and hence difficult to share among designers and to teach to aspiring designers. By developing a graph grammar that encapsulates the feasible ways of creating a function structure, we have provided a foundation for computer tools that allows for quick drafting of function structures, a forum for teaching function structures, and a mechanism for automatically creating function structures for brainstorming new conceptual solutions with a designer.




Sridharan, P., & Campbell, M. I. (2004). A grammar for function structures. In Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference (Vol. 3, pp. 41–55). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

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