Research and Development in machine systems is often being carried out by mathematical programming. The purpose of this paper is to review modern work in mechanisms design and to familiarize the reader with the problem of design optimization with multiple objectives, as applied to machine systems. A new optimization method called selective synthesis is discussed. It is characterized by two basic steps: (a) generating a fixed set of design alternatives, and (b) decision making (optimization) in cascade. Two additional steps, namely evaluation of unclear preferences and replacing the original decision problem with new one, are applied when necessary. An example problem is resolved, proving the potential application of selective synthesis on the practice of R & D performing laboratories. © 1978.
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