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A basis for computer-aided generation of design concepts for instrument systems

Ginger, R. P. (1994). A basis for computer-aided generation of design concepts for instrument systems. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Conceptual design is the phase of design where realisable solutions are found to the functional specification of a system. At present, this is not a well supported task owing to the creativity involved in it. This thesis describes a tool which provides automated support for one of the key activities in conceptual design, the proposal of candidate solutions for analysis and evaluation, in this case to the functional specification of an instrument system, a definition of a signal transformation to be realised. The thesis defines a classification of possible functions performed by an instrument system, the associated signal transformations and the parameters which influence the transformations. A functional specification of an instrument system and a corresponding solution can both be described in terms of a configuration of these functions and the constraints on the parameters of each function in the configuration. The system provides support for the generation of solutions to a functional specification defined using this representation and a functional specification defined at different levels of abstraction can be verified by an implementation of a model which represents the signal flow through a functional configuration. The support for solution generation offered by the system is based on a systematic search of different knowledge bases which contain information on existing solution characteristics, known functional configurations, and laws of physical effects. The methods of solution generation supported include use of existing solutions, use of first principles, systematic transformation of a functional specification, or use of analogy with the functional specifications of other similar solutions.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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