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Presented at the Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, October31-November 3, 1990.

Decision-Based Design: A Contemporary

Paradigm for Ship Design
F. Mistree, Member, University of Houston, Texas, W. F. Smith,
Associate Member, Dept. of Defence, Canberra, ACT, Australia, B. A.
Bras, Visitor, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, Wageningen,
The Netherlands, J. K. Allen, Visitor, Janco Research, Inc., Houston,
D. Muster, Visitor, University of Houston, Texas

Abstract equilibrium isolated from their

environments. However, in the past half
For decades ships have been century, there has been a virtual
designed using the well-known “basis revolution in the way engineers view
ship approach” together with the equally many of their problems and, even more
well-known Evans-Buxton-Andrews recently, at some schools of engineering,
spiral. The two principal limitations of in the way design is being taught. The
the spiral are that the process of design is fundamental reason for these changes can
assumed to be sequential and the be attributed to two singular events; a
opportunity to include life cycle new emphasis on systems thinking and
considerations is limited. It is our the pervasive presence of electronic
contention that in order to increase both computers. In their synergistic coupling,
the efficiency and effectiveness of the they have irreversibly changed the world
process of ship design a new paradigm view of engineering and engineering
for the process of design is needed. In education and provided the foundation
this paper, we review recent for developing systematic methods for
developments in the field of design and planning approaches to the design of
offer a contemporary paradigm, large-scale, complex, fuzzily defined
Decision-Based Design, for the design of transdisciplinary systems open to their
ships; one that encompasses systems environments.
thinking and embodies the concept of Systems thinking 1 , when applied to
concurrent engineering design for the life the design of a system, emphasizes both
cycle. the emergent properties of the system as a
single entity and the separate and
Engineering Design: A collective properties of the systems and
its subsystems in their intrinsic
Review environments [1]. This is the antithesis
Design, particularly engineering
design, is in a period of ferment. For 1 Checkland [1] defines systems thinking
more than three centuries, the world view as "an epistemology which, when applied to
of engineering design has been based in human activity is based upon the four basic
the Newtonian concepts of reductionism ideas: emergence, hierarchy, communication,
and mechanism, and closed systems in and control as characteristics of systems."

of an approach to design that requires the approach a design problem that spans
harmonious coupling of a designer's several traditional disciplines in terms of
experience-based intuition and skills in which they define their design problem.
performing analyses which emphasize Simultaneously and consciously, they
both reductionism and mechanism and define the laws and relationships that
the design of the components of a system characterize the transdisciplinary body of
in isolation from the influences of their knowledge in which the problem is
environments. embedded. A corollary effect of the
Systems thinking and computer advent of systems design is the blurring
technology exist in an overlapping world of the lines that have separated the
of synergistic action. The broadening traditional disciplines in academic
influence of systems thinking institutions and industry. We are
encourages engineers to beginning to discover that the neat,
dichotomous packaging that separates,
say, mechanical engineering, electrical
engineering and naval architecture is
more political than technical. It may be a
traditional and convenient means for
organizing administrative entities and
budgets but it is not necessarily useful for
organizing technical, problem-solving
In the decades since computers
became the universal tool of engineers
and scientists we have observed dramatic
changes in the computers themselves, our
manner of using them, and in the opening
of new related fields of research in
science and technology. We now have
computers that can process symbols in
the broadest sense, words, graphs, and
numbers, and they are imbued with the
ability to reason. New software and
hardware allow us to do things that, even
a few years ago, we could contemplate
only wishfully. Designers are on the
threshold of being able to use a computer
not just as a tool, but as an advisor, a
critic and, ultimately, as a partner in the
process of design. The function of
processing symbols in any design
method, we believe, is to provide a
means for a designer to identify and
formulate a problem so that it can be
modeled as realistically as possible and to
allow the formulation so generated to be
translated into a structured form amenable
to solution.
Most futurists (Naisbitt, Toffler,
Bell, and Dennison, among others) agree
that we are at the beginning of the
Information Age. In this new age,
information will be available to designers
almost instantly in quantity and quality
heretofore not considered possible. this time, the science of design is in a
Designers will negotiate the solutions to pre-theory stage [2]. The body of work
open problems in conjunction with developed thus far has been largely
computers, data-bases and expert uncoordinated. However, there is a
systems. They will be involved primarily small group within this community
with the unstructured or partially attempting to identify and organize the
structured parts of problems (that is, with commonalties that exist in the design
establishing system goals, partitioning approaches, techniques and methods of
the system in terms of its functional Simon's “designers”, that is, those who
subsystems and planning the design devise courses of action aimed at
process itself) rather than with the changing existing situations into
structured part (that is, the design of preferred ones. The long-term goal of
components) which will be automated. this group is to establish the
Independent of the approaches or philosophical underpinning and structure
methods used to plan, establish goals and of a discipline-independent science of
model systems, designers are and will design of which the science of
continue to be involved in two primary engineering design would be a principal
activities, namely, processing symbols part.
and making decisions -- two activities There have been several reviews of
that are central to increasing the efficiency the relatively recent design literature.
2 and effectiveness 3 of designers and the These include those by Pahl and Beitz [3]
processes they use. (who give a comprehensive review of the
The Recent Evolution of Design evolution of design in Germany), Hubka
from an Art towards a Science and Schregenberger [4] (who provide a
short review of trends in both Europe and
Design as an organized discipline is in the United States), Andreasen [5]
of relatively recent origin, compared to (who gives an overview of the state of
engineering which can trace its the art in Europe), Cross [6] (who has
beginnings to the proto-engineers who written an easy to read review of design
built Hammurabi's war engines. The methods), De Boer [7] (who has
earliest design approaches were reviewed a number of design and general
introduced soon after the start of the problem solving methods) and Finger
Industrial Revolution. Their principal and Dixon [8, 9] (who provide a two-part
elements were the iterative, sequential review of the state of the art in
application of analyses based in the mechanical engineering design).
Newtonian principles of reductionism An interesting survey on research
and mechanism and syntheses utilizing methods to study design plus an
the intuitive skills of a designer. Recent extensive bibliography has been made by
work by members of a relatively broad- Brei et al. [10]. Stauffer et al. [11],
based community of researchers suggests Waldron et al. [12] and Wallace and
that the development of a body of Hales [13] approach design science by
knowledge which supports the science of examining how designers design; a
design can be and is being realized. descriptive approach. Hubka [14] and
However, it is probably a realistic Pahl and Beitz [3] are well known for
assessment of the situation to state that, at their prescriptive approach to design.
Suh [15], Tomiyama and Yoshikawa
2 [16], and Takala [17] have attempted to
We consider efficiency to be a measure of
the swiftness with which information, that can define design using axioms. Ostrofsky
be used by a designer to make a decision, is [18], Suh [19], Mistree et al. [20], De
generated. Boer [7] have been major proponents of
3 We consider effectiveness to be a measure approaching design from the standpoint
of quality of a decision (correctness, of decisions made by engineers in the
completeness, comprehensiveness) that is made process of design. Others have
by a designer. approached design from the standpoint of
optimization. Azarm et al. [21] provide a design process, which a consensus of
survey of the use of optimization engineers consider important, have been
methods in design. Some examples of developed by Pahl and Beitz [3] and
using optimization in design are given by Hubka [14]. The model proposed by
Vanderplaats [22] and Hughes [23]. Pahl and Beitz has been further
Sobieszczanski-Sobieski is a leading developed and published by the Verein
authority on decomposition and Deutscher Ingenieure in Guideline VDI
multidisciplinary optimization [24, 25]. 2221 “Systematic Approach to the Design
Currently, the use of artificial intelligence of Technical Systems and Products”.
(AI) in design is one of the most active Commentaries on the development and
areas of research and development. A implementation of this guideline have
major contribution of ideas and been made by Beitz [34] and Cross [6].
prototypical systems for designing Both models cited are in harmony with
engineering systems using AI principles systems thinking and, although they vary
have been made by Brown and in form, they share at least three basic
Chandrasekaran [26], Brown [27], and activities in common:
Dixon et al. [28, 29]. Gero et al. [30], Analysis: A process of partitioning or
use artificial intelligence to focus on decomposing any system into its
computational models of design as a subsystems and component parts to
process. Basically, these proposed determine their separate and
systems and ideas focus on capturing collective nature, proportion,
expertise to solve design problems, functions, relationships, etc.
and/or providing alternative problem Synthesis: A process of integrating a
solving methods for ill-structured collection of subsystems so as to
problems. Recently the application of create a system with emergent
neural networks, in design, has created a properties.
wave of interest [31, 32, 33]. Evaluation: A process of assessing the
Currently, two major streams of degree to which a solution satisfies
development in design are evident, the goals that were originally stated.
namely, the pursuit of a definitive theory De Boer [7] opines that a basic three-
of design and the development and step pattern (diverging, systemizing and
application of computer-based tools in converging) can generally be recognized
design. Further, two different model in each phase and subphase of a
types for the design process have been prescriptive model. The first step in
proposed, namely, prescriptive models design or general problem solving is
and descriptive models. Both models are usually divergent in nature; a designer is
offered as means for increasing the called on to generate a (large) number of
efficiency and effectiveness of designers ideas, alternatives or possible solutions.
and the processes they use. Both models These ideas are then analyzed and
are applicable to ship design (as they are synthesized into forms that may represent
for any engineering design discipline). acceptable solutions to the problem. This
is the systemizing activity. Finally the
Prescriptive Models of Design refined ideas obtained by systemizing are
further synthesized, analyzed and
Prescriptive models embrace a evaluated leading in general to a single
systematic, algorithmic-based approach satisficing4 design. As the number of
that has at its core a general design acceptable ideas or solutions is
methodology which includes three basic decreased, the activity is characterized by
activities, namely, analysis, synthesis convergence.
and evaluation. It is beyond the scope of
this review to discuss all of the 4 Satisficing - not the “best” but “good
prescriptive models of design that have enough” (use of this term, in the context of
been proposed and developed over the optimization, is first attributed to Herbert Simon
years. Two prescriptive models of the [35])

These prescriptive models of design design. They concluded, that the
rely on decomposition, assimilation and designers they monitored:
iteration and closely resemble the • developed the functional aspects of
traditional approach to ship design as the design in stages throughout the
espoused in many texts and as discussed problem solving effort rather than
in detail later. For example, in during an initial functional
determining ship structural development stage called for by
characteristics, transitions are made from many design theories;
a representative hull box-girder analysis, • used functional considerations that
to a midship module/section analysis, to remained qualitative while often the
the specification of detailed local form considerations became
structure. The Classification Societies quantitative during the problem
with their rules encourage designers to solving effort;
follow a prescriptive model, at least, in • made decisions based on qualitative,
commercial ship design. subjective reasoning during all
phases of design;
Descriptive Models of Design • used their knowledge to influence
the generation of ideas for problem
In contrast to prescriptive models, solutions (i.e., they did not use a
descriptive models exemplify how design domain independent procedure);
is done by a designer and not necessarily • used their knowledge to influence
what should be done to arrive at a how ideas were evaluated, hence
solution in accordance with an “expert” they did not evaluate ideas in a
or theorist. Pahl and Beitz [3] and Cross consistent manner;
[6] identify four activities that may be • used their knowledge to influence
basic to descriptive models of design: their problem solving method, that
Problem analysis - a problem is, when the subjects had little
statement is developed. knowledge in a domain of
Conceptual design - the statement of application they did not go into the
the problem is used to generate a details, but simply picked what was
collection of broad solutions. available;
Embodiment design - the solutions in • performed mental, visual and
the collection are refined for the physical simulations as an aid to
purpose of eliminating those that are understanding problems and
least satisfactory until only the final evaluating solutions;
design remains. • attempted to find a satisfactory rather
Detail design - all the details of the than optimal solution.
final design are specified and the Stauffer and his coauthors, in their
manufacturing drawings and paper, speculate that these human
documentation are produced. actions, most of them deviations from
Validation of descriptive models of prescribed practice, may have been the
design is difficult and, given the highly result of poor training, cognitive
personalized contributions of designers to limitations or other factors. Juster [37]
the process, models are usually offered and Andreasen [5] highlight some of the
as no more than guidelines, not as problems of using some of the methods
inviolate protocols. However, in and guidelines (which are a product of
general, most engineers do not have the design science) in practice. Andreasen,
requisite skills or long-term interest for however, is optimistic: “… there is no
process validation. Nevertheless, doubt that the basic patterns in design
Wallace and Hales [13, 36] have science are right.” His optimism appears
documented in explicit detail an actual to be justified in the light of the success
design process in industry and Stauffer et reported by those utilizing an approach
al. [11] have attempted to determine just called “concurrent engineering”.
how designers, in fact, do perform
predominance of soft5 information,
Concurrent Engineering Design which can have far-reaching effects on
for the Life Cycle the system being designed. Portions of a
sequential and a concurrent process of
Concurrent engineering represents a design are illustrated in Fig. 1. As
common sense approach to product illustrated, the information flow in
development in which all elements of the concurrent engineering is bidirectional
product's life cycle from conception and decisions are based on both upstream
through disposal are integrated into a and downstream considerations. In
single continuous feedback-driven design contrast, in a sequential approach
process. It has also been called information flows in one direction only.
“simultaneous engineering”, “Unified Conceptually, it is evident from any
Life Cycle Engineering (ULCE)”, perspective that as a design process
“producibility engineering”, etc. progresses and decisions are made, the
Recently, in this country, the principal freedom to make changes as one
supporter of concurrent engineering has proceeds is reduced and the knowledge
been the United States Department of about the object of design increases.
Defense which has found too often that This is illustrated in Fig. 2. At the same
designers have formulated new and time, there is a progression from soft to
elegant systems which cannot be hard information. A product of and a
produced and deployed economically clear motivation for concurrent
[38]. The primary goal of concurrent engineering is to “drag” the knowledge
engineering is the minimization curve to the left, thereby increasing the
of costs over the complete life cycle of a ratio of hard to soft information that is
system while maximizing its quality and available in the early stages of design.
performance. A formal definition for This relative improvement in the quality
concurrent engineering is given by of information should lead to designs that
Winner [39]: are completed in less time and at less cost
CONCURRENT ENGINEERING than those designed using a traditional
Concurrent engineering is a sequential process. Some of the benefits
systematic approach to the resulting from a concurrent engineering
integrated, concurrent design of design approach, as reported by six
products and their related processes,
including manufacturing and
support. This approach is intended
to cause the developers, from the
outset, to consider all elements of the
product life cycle from conception
through disposal, including quality,
cost, schedule, and user
Concurrent engineering is
characterized by a “focus on the
customer's requirements and priorities, a
conviction that quality is the result of
improving a process, and a philosophy
that improvement of the processes of
design, production and support are
never-ending responsibilities of the entire
enterprise” [39]. 5 Some of the information used in the
In concurrent engineering, the early making of a decision may be soft, that is, based
stages of project initiation are especially on the designer's judgment and experience and
significant because major design some information may be hard, that is, derived
decisions are made, usually based on a from scientific principles.

Requirement Product Process Prototype major companies, are presented in Table
Development Development 1. In
• • general,
• • the reported benefits of the
approach are [39]:
• The quality of designs was improved
which resulted in dramatic
CONCURRENT ENGINEERING reductions of engineering change
orders (greater than 50%) in early
Requirement production.
• Product development-cycle times
Product Development were reduced by 40-60% when
concurrent, rather than sequential,
design processes were used.
Process Development
• Manufacturing costs were reduced
by 30-40% when multifunction
Prototype teams integrated product and process
• • • • • The costs of scrap and rework were
reduced by 75% through product
and process design optimization.

Fig. 1 A comparison of
sequential and concurrent Table 1 Reported cost,
engineering (adapted from [39]) schedule, quality benefits of
concurrent engineering [39]
Potential Time Savings

INCREASE Knowledge


Design Freedom
Development of Requirements
Conceptual Design
Preliminary Design
Contract Design
Detail Design

Fig. 2 Increasing the amount of

knowledge about a product at an
early stage

Although concurrent engineering can
Case Study Cost Schedule Quality
___________________________________________________________________________ be implemented in many ways the generic
McDonald Douglas 60% savings Significant savings Scrap reduced 58%,
elements of it are as follows [39]:
on bid for reactor and (reduction from 45 weeks rework cost reduced • Reliance on multifunction teams to
missile projects. to 8 hours) in one phase of 29%, and nonconformances
high-speed vehicle reduced 38%; weld defectsintegrate the design, manufacturing
preliminary design; per unit decreased 70%;and support processes of a product.
18 month saving on 68% fewer changes on
TVA-8B design. reactor; 68% fewer• Use of computer-aided design,
drawing changes on engineering and manufacturing
___________________________________________________________________________ methods to support design
integration through shared product
Boeing Ballistic Reduced labor rates by Part and materials lead- Floor inspection ratio
Systems Division $28/hour; savings 30% time reduced by 30%; one decreased by over 2/3; and process models and data bases.
below bid. part of design analysis material shortages •reduced
Use of a variety of analytical
reduced by over 90%. from 12% to 0; 99%
defect-free operation. methods to optimize a product's
___________________________________________________________________________ design, manufacturing and support
AT & T Cost of repair for new Total process time reduced Defects reduced by 30%processes.
circuit pack production to 46% of baseline for to 87%.
cut at least 40%. 5ESS.™
Compared to traditional engineering
___________________________________________________________________________ design in which synthesis of the product
Deere & Company 30% actual savings in 60% savings in plays the central role, the synthesis of the
Number of inspectors
developmental cost for developmental time. reduced by 2/3.process (which includes design,
construction equipment.
___________________________________________________________________________ manufacture and support aspects) is the
dominant feature in concurrent
Hewlett-Packard Manufacturing costs Reduced development cycle Product field failure rate
Co. Instrument reduced 42%. time 35%. engineering.
reduced 60%. Scrap and With the synthesis of the
Division rework reduced process
75%. at this higher level, the synthesis
of the product follows naturally.
IBM Product direct Significant reduction in Fewer engineering changes.
assembly labor hours length of PMT design Guaranteed productibility
reduced 45%. cycle. 40% reduction in Our Frame of Reference
and testability.
electronic design cycle.

Quite clearly, any discussion of

designing practical engineering systems
of tomorrow, using approaches based on
systems thinking and computers, must
include concurrent engineering design for
the life cycle. Further, while the aims
and objectives of concurrent engineering
are clear, there is no generally accepted
model of a design process that can be
used to include concurrency and design
for the life cycle. We believe that it is
unlikely that one model will emerge as
the ultimate model of design for all
products and processes. Therefore, in
the next two sections, our approach is to
evaluate critically the well-known ship
design spiral and introduce a paradigm
we call Decision-Based Design. Further,
because of their importance, we focus on
the early stages of ship design.

Ship Design: Its Evolution

What is the impact of the preceding
general discussion on ship design? We

believe that it is significant. Hubka and GENERAL
Schregenberger [4] point out that the I
seeds of design science first sprouted in
individual fields of engineering, such as WEIGHTS
naval architecture. So what do we have AND
in ship design to build on? Let us begin TRIM III STRUCTURAL
with a review of the ship design spiral
that is the underlying model for much of
the current state of practice in ship PRINCIPAL
design. L, B, H AND DEPTH

The Ship Design Spiral: A Model LINES

of the Ship Design Process COEFFICIENTS

In 1959, Evans [40] made a

significant contribution to visualizing and SECTIONAL AREA VI X RESISTANCE
modeling the process of ship design. His AND WATERLINE
“general design diagram” is reproduced VII IX
as Fig. 3. Now known as the “ship FLOODABLE VIII FREEBOARD
design spiral” it captured the basic tenets LENGTH STABILITY
of a widely accepted approach to ship
design. Fig. 3 Evan's general design
A major characteristic of the spiral diagram [40]
approach is that the design process is
sequential and iterative rather than
concurrent. It is also laborious and divergent with respect to information and
expensive. While some refinements have the increasing detail of definition. This
been made over time, these characteristics divergent aspect is reflected in Buxton's
remain unchanged. Buxton introduced representation. The convergent/divergent
economic issues into the spiral [41] and perspectives of Evans and Buxton are
time was added as a third dimension by complementary to each other; more on
Andrews [42]. In so doing, Andrews this point later. Secondly, it is
attempted to account for the open nature recognized that when the spiral was first
of the design process. Andrews' formalized and in the years following, it
representation of the ship design process represented a descriptive model that
as a helical “corkscrew” is shown in Fig. portrayed how design was done; it
4 and he states that the advantage of this represented both the state-of-art (state-of-
image is that many dialogues and research) and the state-of-industry (state-
constraints on a designer can be shown of-practice). The then available design
as fundamental to the process. However, algorithms and tools mandated a
this representation still relies on sequential and iterative design approach
sequential activity and iteration. with computers being used as high speed
It is widely recognized that the spiral calculators to increase the efficiency of a
represents an important historical model designer traversing the spiral. However,
of the ship design process. We therefore the spiral is still viewed, by many today,
put on record two salient observations. as a valid prescriptive model, that is, a
Firstly, while the spiral is representation of how design should be
characteristically drawn by Evans and done and hence is still a portrayal of the
others as converging towards a state-of-art!
product, the process is While the spiral approach may result
in satisfactory designs it does not
promote the identification of superior
solutions. As Lyon and Mistree [43]

point out, during periods when the ship building industry
is doing well and the volume of ship
building is high, the traditional laborious
approach may be effective since,
• the effort expended is worthwhile
because almost all designs are built,
• designs can be improved through
small improvements from ship to
ship and class to class, and
• a large amount of data is available on
similar ships.
However, when the market is depressed,
with low ship construction activity, and
in view of the specialized, single vessel
designs encountered, the traditional
approach is ineffective since an adequate
design is no longer competitive in the
open market, and a costly protracted
approach to design is uneconomical.
Alternatives to the Evans-Buxton-
Andrews spiral have been proposed in
the past but they have failed to gain wide
support. For completeness, a brief
discussion of these follows.

Towards a Concurrent Model for

Ship Design

The design spiral is a conceptual

model of a process for effecting ship
design. The major units of the spiral
(conceptual design, preliminary design,
detail design, etc.) are central to
implementing any ship design process
and there are numerous ways of
implementing these units. However,
most formal, algorithmic and
mathematical approaches that have been
reported in the open literature are for
preliminary ship design.
One approach for implementing
preliminary ship design is design through
“enumeration”. This method is based on
the assumption that all design variables
can be expressed in terms of the vessel's
length and it employs a procedure in
which the length is increased sequentially
until a feasible design is found. A
computer is used in the “search” for a
feasible solution. No particular insight is
required from the designer, since any
number of lengths can be evaluated and
the final design is selected by inspection.

The limitation of this method is its technique is the design of bulk cargo
capability to handle only a single carriers by Gilfillan [44].
objective. It is also highly dependent Another approach is to formulate
upon the functional relationships that are preliminary ship design as an
developed between length and the other optimization problem. There have been
design variables. An example of this a number of

Empirical Life
Formulae Cycle STRUCTURE

FORM Checks

Machinery Calculations

Based on Upper Deck

CONSTRAINTS Ship Type Maj. Spaces
AREAS Based on Area/Wt



The design spirals down the surface
Showing typical steps in spiral
of the model

Fig. 4 Andrew's overall model of the ship design process [42]

applications of this technique and each and Mistree [43] introduced a generic
has had a varying degree of success. multiobjective formulation for the
Different aspects of the preliminary ship preliminary design of ships in 1985.
design problem have been formulated and Traditionally, the major thrust of
solved as single-objective, optimization research in ship design has been focused
problems by Murphy et al. [45], narrowly on specific analytical aspects.
Nowacki et al. [46], and Smith and Only recently has more interest and effort
Woodhead [47]. The advantages of being devoted to synthesis and decision
formulating a design problem as an support (for example, [43, 48, 49, 50,
optimization problem are that 51, 52]). Mistree et al. [53] have
computations are reduced, the computer presented one of the the first successful
code can generally be modified to algorithms for solving large, practical
accommodate the required number of design problems using sequential linear
design variables and constraints, and the programming. This algorithm is not
“best” solution as defined by the limited by the problems associated with
objective function is found automatically. the earlier (SLP) algorithms (for
In the preceding formulations the design example, see [47]) and it is one of the
is driven by a single objective; an core elements of MAESTRO, a ship
unlikely event in the real world. Lyon structural synthesis program [23].

Hughes and Mistree established the need the modeled design considerations are to
for concurrency in analysis, evaluation pass on answers in a sequence of
and synthesis while designing major forward-chained steps and the resultant
structural systems [49]. This notion of need for iteration is high as one strives to
concurrency has been developed further satisfy constraints.
by Lyon and Mistree [43] in a Alternatively, if the design process is
multiobjective formulation (the viewed as taking place on the inside, the
compromise Decision Support Problem) ordering of calculation and progress is
for the preliminary design of ships. This not strictly defined. Analogous to line-
work has since been embodied in the of-sight, all considerations can be sighted
AUSEVAL system that is being used by at any point in the process. Thus, the
the Directorate of Naval Architecture in missing notion of concurrence in the
Australia and is being incorporated by the spiral may be accommodated by working
Maritime Research Institute Netherlands on the inside. Further, it follows that
(MARIN) into their design system, working on the inside represents, at
HOSDES. The issue of concurrency present, the state-of-research in design: a
associated with solving hierarchical concurrent approach.
problems in the preliminary design of
ships is addressed by Smith [50].
In our opinion, the spiral paradigm
for ship design is still useful. We STABILITY
contend that the elements of the spiral be
made part of a new process that
accommodates concurrency, facilitates LINES
the inclusion of life cycle considerations
and provides a means for designing and
managing the design process itself.
Acknowledging these needs, how should
our outlook be altered or enhanced? Fig. 5 Design on the outside:
A Change of Perspective: The
Frustum of a Cone
Fundamentally, the barriers for
In order to change the basic design modeling interactions do not exist when a
representation fundamentally from a designer's orientation is an internal one.
sequential spiral to an integrated and As depicted in Fig. 6, each interplay
concurrent scheme, the perspective from between design considerations could be
which design is viewed needs to change. modeled effectively with information
For illustrative purposes, imagine the flowing through a “ring of interaction”.
process of design to be represented by a Iteration, as such, would then only be
funnel or the frustum of a cone (see Fig. necessary as the amount and quality of
5). Further, consider a surface generator information or the requirements changed
of this conical frustum to represent the significantly. Concurrency would
locus of one of the design activities (as replace iteration in processes in which a
depicted in the traditional spiral) such as balance between conflicting requirements
stability, lines generation or structural and conflicting objectives is sought.
definition. As the design process In this sense, each phase of design
advances in the traditional sense, one (e.g., the conceptual design phase, the
works around the outside of the frustum preliminary design phase) is portrayed as
as depicted by the arrows in Fig. 5. This disc-like, but of irregular shape. By
is similar to the notion proposed by further refining this illustration, in the
Andrews [42] and highlighted in Fig. 4. limit, as more becomes known of the
Typically, the only interactions between object of design, the representative disc

becomes geometrically complete and approach, is minimized. The process of
circular. The scale, however, on each formulating a mathematical model of a
radial connector is unique. As an aside, ring of interaction (later to be defined as a
we note that iteration will always be “template”) for each design phase is
necessary but, in a concurrent procedural with the interaction between
rings represented by a transfer of
knowledge and information.
Our choice of a frustum of a cone
(see Figs. 5 and 6) is based on Evans’
spiral; one in which a design process
eventually converges upon a design. We
recognize that this convergence will result
STRUCTURE in an increase (as indicated by Buxton) in
some of the other outcomes of the
process. For example, as the design
process converges knowledge about a
design increases, the qualitative ratio
between hard and soft information
increases, the degree of partitioning and
RING OF planning needed to proceed with the
design increases, the costs increase and
STABILITY the personnel involved increases, just to
state just a few. And other outcomes,
? such as design freedom, diminish.
STRUCTURE We have used a frustum of a cone
and a designer's perspective of the
frustum to clarify the difference we
perceive between state-of-practice and the
state-of-research in ship design. Some
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS additional fundamental issues can also be
addressed using the same imagery (see
Fig. 7). At the onset of the design
process, a number of alternatives/options
may exist, but, as design progresses,
some of these ideas and concepts may be
discarded and others coalesce. In some
? way, strands of thought are severed and
STRUCTUREjoined as illustrated in Fig. 7. At the
same time, while the global design
process is converging, subprocesses are
LINES both converging and diverging.
CROSS-SECTION SHOWING Characterization of the Spiral and
Fig. 6 Design on the inside: Design in progress, in the spiral
state-of-research approach, is characterized by a blending
of knowledge and information. This
notion is illustrated in Fig. 8. While the
requirements of a design are initially
stated conjunctively the tools necessary to
fashion a solution are generally
developed and used as independent
entities. Metaphorically, the tools sit as
independent packages (see Fig. 8) on a
shelf with a minimal capability for
interfacing in a holistic design sense. STAB
There are some integrated packages but
they remain an exception rather than the
rule. When a task is defined, the tools
deemed necessary to perform the task are
selected and their outputs are blended LBDT MACHINE
together iteratively. In a computer






Fig. 8 The spiral approach

Fig. 7 Characteristics within the
design process environment this is typified by a series of
batch processed jobs; a stability
assessment may be followed by a
strength calculation which is preceded by
a weight estimate. This process requires
the application of significant resources
(illustrated as energy in Fig. 8) and
testing. With sufficient iteration, the
elements of the design become so aligned
that a satisficing solution is produced (see
lower part of Fig. 8). In this approach to
obtaining a satisficing solution the role
played by the computer is that of a high
speed calculator.
In contrast, by adopting a systems
approach and working on the inside of

the conical frustum in a concurrent
manner, to accommodate the complexity
of the required information processing R E S I S T A N C E
and to ensure that a rational decision can L R P O W E R
be made, a partnership between the E N D U R A N C E O
human designer and the computer must S T A B I L I T Y
be forged. As illustrated conceptually in H C
Fig. 9, this union may be represented in
the form of a hybrid shifter or wrench. If
the wrench's fixed or moveable jaw is
too weak or missing altogether, the tool
is worthless. So it is in a systems-based
design environment, a satisfactory
contribution by each part -- human and
computer -- must be achieved. In so
doing, both strength and flexibility are
generated. But to what is the wrench
applied? Obviously to nuts and bolts;
which figuratively idealize the decisions,
the flow of information and knowledge, Fig. 9 A systems approach
and the subsystem relationships and their characterized
interactions in a systems approach to
design. The bolt of Fig. 9 is one,
perhaps from a preliminary ship design On Designing Ships in the Future
model, which ties together algorithms for
resistance, economics, strength etc. It Given the preceding perspective of
enables the interaction or force of one design, why bother about transforming
algorithm to be transferred and applied design science into design practice?
concurrently to the others as in the “ring There are several practical reasons for
of interaction” of Fig. 6. Many bolts transforming one of the tangible
may be manually and loosely applied to outcomes of design science, namely,
join components in creating an abstract design methods into practice. Cross [6]
model of a design process, but the identifies four practical reasons: the
harmony between a human designer and increasing complexity of systems, the
computer (i.e., the wrench) is mandatory need of a well-managed team approach,
to effectively and tightly bind the abstract the need for increasing the efficiency of
mathematical models of physical the process to decrease the lead-time, and
subsystems together as a total system. the increasing costs and risks associated
with modern design. An example of the
influence of design and manufacturing on
maintenance is given in [54]. While
physical size, as opposed to diversified
function, is not the issue of the '90's, the
essence of Buxton's comment in 1972
[41] is still valid:
“The scope for making the wrong
decisions in ship design has
increased greatly with the expansion
of ship sizes and types. Until
recently, the decision was much
more whether to build rather than
what to build, as each succeeding
ship was usually a modification of

an earlier one. Now one design of Design phase and integrate them by
an ocean-going ship can easily be exchanging data through a common
100 times larger than another and the database. A secondary goal is to facilitate
scope for poor investment multiplies data transfer between and among the
accordingly.” various organizations involved in design-
Tibbits and Gale [55] argue along similar related activities. The data transfer is
lines to Cross. They stress the need for focused around the product model which
closer cooperation between the Naval Sea is the collection of geometric and
Systems Command (NAVSEA) and the nongeometric information necessary to
ship yards serving the U.S. Navy. They fully describe the completed ship.
describe the NAVSEA design Having identified some significant
environment and the diminishing reasons to pursue a systematic, cost
available resources and identify two main effective and efficient approach to design
reasons for the increased interest in the in general and ship design in particular,
design production interface. The first is how can this be achieved? We believe a
that productivity improvements and ship concurrent engineering approach is what
cost reductions are highly dependent on is needed. Industrial success has been
decisions made during conceptual and reported in this realm as shown in Table
preliminary design as well as the detailed 1 while Andreasen [5] identifies failures
design phases. The second is the in attempts to apply other methods in
increased need for ships to be operable, industry. Given that improvements in
reliable, maintainable and survivable ship design can be made by applying
while meeting the desired mission concurrent engineering, what is needed
capability. Two of the interesting for this to occur?
conclusions they draw are: Firstly, a design philosophy and,
• Navy and industry must collaborate secondly, design tools for implementing
in developing computerized it are needed. The tools for effecting
approaches to ship design, design will differ in the different phases
construction, life cycle support and of design. On the other hand, the
management, including data transfer philosophy of design can remain constant
techniques. throughout the design process, if this
• Means must be developed to philosophy is rooted in a domain-
incorporate production independent and time-independent
considerations in the preliminary and construct, namely, a decision.
contract design phases. Recognizing the need to move towards a
An effort towards the development of new concurrent and decision-based
a computerized approach to ship design, design model that facilitates design for
construction, life cycle support and the life cycle, how should our outlook be
management is described by Billingsley altered or enhanced? Our response:
and Ryan [56]. They describe the history Decision-Based Design.
of the Navy’s Computer Supported
Design (CSD) system. The primary goal
of the CSD system is to develop
computer tools for performing ship Decision-Based Design: A
design from the earliest stages through Contemporary Paradigm for
the Contract Design
Decision-Based Design is a term
coined to emphasize a different
perspective from which to develop
methods for design [20, 57]. The
principal role of a designer, in Decision-
Based Design, is to make decisions.

This seemingly limited role is useful in • Symbols are processed to support
providing a starting point for developing human decisions, for example,
design methods based on paradigms that analog/signals, numeric information,
spring from the perspective of decisions graphic information, and textual
made by designers (who may use information.
computers) as opposed to design that is • A technique that supports human
assisted by the use of computers, decision making, ideally,
optimization methods (computer-aided • must be process-based and
design optimization) or methods that discipline-independent,
evolve from specific analysis tools such • must be suitable for solving open
as finite element analysis. Decisions help problems that are characteristic of
bridge the gap between an idea and a fuzzy environment, and
reality. In general, decisions are • must facilitate self-learning.
characterized by information from many The characteristics of decisions are
sources (and disciplines) and may have governed by the characteristics associated
wide ranging repercussions. In with the design of real-life engineering
Decision-Based Design, decisions serve systems. These characteristics are
as markers to identify the progression of summarized by the following descriptive
a design from initiation to implementation sentences:
to termination. In Decision-Based • Decisions in design are invariably
Design they represent a unit of multileveled and multidimensional
communication; one that has both in nature.
domain-dependent and domain- • Decisions involve information that
independent features. comes from different sources and
Some principal observations and disciplines.
beliefs from a Decision-Based Design • Decisions are governed by multiple
perspective are as follows: measures of merit and performance.
• The principal role of an engineer or • All the information required to
designer is to make decisions. arrive at a decision may not be
• Design involves a series of decisions available.
some of which may be made • Some of the information used in
sequentially and others that must be arriving at a decision may be hard,
made concurrently. that is, based on scientific
• Design involves hierarchical decision principles and some information
making and the interaction between may be soft, that is, based in the
these decisions must be taken into designer's judgment and
account. experience.
• Design productivity can be increased • The problem for which a decision is
through the use of analysis, being made is invariably loosely
visualization and synthesis in defined and open. Virtually none
complimentary roles, and by of the decisions are characterized by
augmenting the recognized capability a singular, unique solution. The
of computers in processing decisions are less than optimal and
numerical information to include the are called satisficing solutions.
processing of symbols (for example, • Design is the process of converting
graphs, pictures, drawings, words) information that characterizes the
and reasoning (for example, list needs and requirements of a system
processing in artificial intelligence). into knowledge about the system
• Life-cycle considerations that affect itself. In Decision-Based Design it
design can be modeled in upstream is the making of decisions that
design decisions. brings about the transformation of
information into knowledge.
By focusing upon decisions, we have a
description of the processes written in a
common “language” for teams from the application of steam power to shipping
various disciplines -- a language that can which occurred during the Industrial
be used in the process of designing. Our Revolution generated original design
formal definition of the term designing is principles for providing waterborne
as follows [20, 58]: transportation. Clearly, this represented
DESIGNING a step-function in the development of
Designing is a process of converting design solutions for naval and
information that characterizes the commercial vessels. Since then, the
needs and requirements for a product steam ship concept has been improved
into knowledge about a product. vastly by adaptive and variant design.
In this definition, we use the term Considering only the hull form, it is
product in its most general sense; it may difficult to argue that any mono-hulled
include processes as well. This displacement surface ship represents
definition of design follows from anything other than variant design.
Simon's [35] definition of a designer as However, if the design procedure is
anyone who affects or changes the state classified based on the functional
of things. Three different types of requirements of the completed ship,
design, namely, original, adaptive and design in all three categories are possible.
variant have been identified. The For example, the fitting of a standard
distinction between them is based on the cargo ship with a novel cargo handling
amount of originality required. system could be viewed as original
• Original Design - an original solution design.
principle is determined for a desired In original, adaptive and variant
system and used to create the design design, the major issues facing a designer
of a product. In naval architecture, are different because the amount and type
we believe, original design occurs of design knowledge and information
when only the mission requirements available at the start of the design process
are known and the well-known is different. In original design, solution
“basis ship” design procedure cannot principles are of paramount importance,
be employed. for adaptive design, specified tasks
• Adaptive Design - an existing design assume major importance, and for variant
is adapted to different conditions or design, size and/or general arrangement
tasks; thus, the solution principle issues occupy the designer. In adaptive
remains the same but the product design, the new tasks specified are the
will be sufficiently different so that it major focus, the solution principle
can meet the changed tasks that have remains the same and therefore, is of no
been specified. Using the “basis concern. The size and/or arrangement
ship” approach in ship design is an remain to be determined and are open
example of adaptive design. issues.
• Variant Design - the size and/or How can the efficiency and
arrangement of parts or subsystems effectiveness of a designer be increased
of the chosen system are varied. in Decision-Based Design? We assert
The desired tasks and solution that the efficiency and effectiveness of a
principle are not changed. A good designer can be increased:
example of variant design is when a • by increasing the speed with which
ship series is being designed and design iteration is accomplished, and
changes between subsequent flights • by reducing the number of iterations.
are effected. An increase in speed of iteration
Whether the design process is classified (increasing efficiency) has traditionally
as original, adaptive or variant depends been the focus of design automation. A
greatly on the perspective chosen. The reduction in the number of iterations is
profitable especially when iterations are
very costly; this issue is yet to be
resolved. An increment in iteration speed
can be achieved if at least some parts of a decisions, and hence, the design.
design process are known and can be We call the
modelled. To achieve a reduction in the
number of iterations not only a model of
the process but also information that can
be used to determine how the process can
be improved is needed. Without a model
of a design process that can be
represented and manipulated on a
computer, it is impossible to provide
guidance that is suitable for improving
the efficiency and effectiveness of a
human designer. By focusing upon
decisions, we provide a means for
creating models of decision-based
processes (including design, manufacture
and maintenance) that can be used to
advantage by a computer-based Design
Guidance S ystem (DGS) [59]. Issues
relevant to the development of a Design
Guidance System are described near the
end of this paper.
The starting point for representing a
designer's perception of the real world
and design environment is a
heterarchical6 set of constructs7 arranged
without discernable pattern and with no
construct being dominant. Typically, the
heterarchical set associated with a
product's life-cycle includes the
product's market, the product, its
manufacture, its maintenance and its
subsequent retirement8 . The starting
point for representing a designer's
perception of the process of design is
also a heterarchical set of constructs (see
Figure 13). In Decision-Based Design
this heterarchical set embodies decisions
or sets of decisions that characterize a
designer's judgment of the decisions
involved in effecting a design. A
hierarchical set of constructs, on the other
hand, characterizes the process or
sequence involved in effecting these

6 Heterarchy - A formal organization of

nodes without any single permanent uppermost
node, a non-hierarchical organization.
7 Construct - a complex idea resulting
from a synthesis of simpler ideas.
8 In Decision-Based Design, the terms
manufacture and maintenance take on specific
meanings (see [58, 60]).

problem at the right level and postulate a
Decision and Information Entities
process for ensuring an outcome; so too
Decisions for a child. Imagine, a child playing with
(DSPs and Decision Blocks) “Tinker Toys™” (see Fig. 11). The child
Information and knowledge Parentisor looking at some “disks” and “sticks”
Dominant DSPin a contiguous pile on the floor.
There is an order in the apparent chaos on
the floor but its form cannot be perceived
by Mom or Dad; but the child may have
a mental construct of what is to be built.
Certain disks support others. Some pairs
of disks are joined by sticks from past
times at play. But then, gradually, the
pieces from the floor are transformed into
a sail boat. So when did the child start
the process of building the sail boat?
Was it with the keel, the hull, the mast,
the sail … ? If we can identify this first
HETERARCHICAL HIERARCHICAL step (i.e., the dominant node within a
The relationships between process) we know when the child started
The relationships between
decision blocks are not ordered the process. We assert that the process
decision blocks are ordered
and hence not directed. (in this case building) was initiated when
and hence are directed.
the child first identified one of the disks
and sticks as a component of the sail
Fig. 10 Heterarchical and boat; the rest followed. Similarly,
hierarchical representations in design starts when the first step is taken
Decision-Based Design to extract a hierarchy from a heterarchy,
that is, when the dominant node (in our
case a decision entity) is chosen.
The implementation of Decision-
decisions, or sets of decisions, Based Design can take different forms.
decision entities. In mechanical engineering there is an
Knowledge and information entities link increasing awareness that decisions made
these decision entities in both by designers could be the key element in
heterarchical and hierarchical the development of design methods that
representations as shown in Fig. 10. In a facilitate design for the life cycle and
heterarchy there are connections between foster concurrency in the process, for
nodes; there is a pattern or structure but example, Suh [19], Whitney et al. [61]
the structure is re-entrant or recursive -- and Finger et al. [62]. In naval
without a permanent uppermost node or architecture, Hills and Buxton [63] have
starting point. In practice, the challenge recently alluded to this notion as well.
in transforming a decision heterarchy to a
decision hierarchy (or plan of action) is to
identify a correct starting point; one that
leads to a plan of action that is both viable
and cost-effective.
As will be shown later, our ability to
model processes using a set of basic
entities is one of the principal features of
Decision-Based Design. Modeling
processes (for example, design,
manufacture, maintenance, and the like)
helps a designer identify the right

1 2 formulating Decision Support Problems
(DSPs), and the software. The DSP
Technique is being developed to effect
the different types of design previously
discussed, namely, original, adaptive and
variant. The DSP Technique requires
that a designer implement two phases,
namely, a meta-design phase and a
computer-based design phase. Meta-
design is accomplished through
partitioning a problem into its elemental
DSPs and then devising a plan of action.
3 Decision Support Problems provide a
means for modeling decisions
encountered in design and the domain
specific mathematical models so built are
called templates. Multiple objectives,
quantified using analysis-based “hard”
and insight-based “soft” information, can
be modeled in the DSPs. For real-world,
practical systems, all of the information
for modeling systems comprehensively
and accurately in the early stages of the
project, may not be available. Therefore,
the solution to the problem, even if one is
obtained using optimization techniques,
cannot be optimum with respect to the
real world due to the inherent
approximations in the model. However,
this solution can be used to support a
designer's quest for a superior solution.
Fig. 11 Heterarchies and In a computer-assisted environment this
support is provided in the form of
hierarchies: a Tinker Toy™ optimal solutions for DSPs. Formulation
illustration and solution of DSPs provide a means
for making the following types of
Our approach is called the Decision
S upport Problem (DSP) Technique [64,
65]. It is being developed and
implemented, at the University of
Houston, to provide support for human
judgment in designing systems which can
be manufactured and maintained.

The Decision Support Problem

Technique and Decision Support

The DSP Technique consists of three

principal components: a design
philosophy rooted in systems thinking,
an approach for identifying and

• Selection - the indication of a to be incorporated into MARIN’s
preference, based on multiple HOSDES system [83, 84].
attributes, for one among several The processes of design,
alternatives [66, 67]. manufacture, maintenance are modeled in
• Compromise - the improvement of the DSP Technique using entities, for
an alternative through modification example, phases, events, tasks,
[43, 67]. decisions, and information. A designer
• Coupled or hierarchical - decisions working within the DSP Technique has
that are linked together; the freedom to use submodels of a design
selection/selection, process (prescriptive models) created and
compromise/compromise and stored by others and also to create models
selection/compromise decisions may (descriptive models) of their intended
be coupled [68, 69, 70, 71]. plan of action using the aforementioned
• Conditional - decisions in which the entities.
risk and uncertainty of the outcome
are taken into account [72, 73, 74, Modeling a Time-Line for Design
• Heuristic - decisions made on the The life cycle of a large system such
basis of a knowledge base of facts as a ship is delimited by the decision to
and rules of thumb; DSPs that are create a ship design to conform to a
solved using reasoning and logic specific problem statement and the ship's
only [76]. disposal. Thus a ship's life cycle has a
Applications of DSPs include the design beginning and an end with certain
of ships, damage tolerant structural and characteristic events occurring at
mechanical systems, the design of approximately predictable points during
aircraft, mechanisms, thermal energy this life cycle, for example, launching,
systems, design using composite refitting, etc. One way of assessing the
materials and data compression. A passage of time is in terms of these
detailed set of references to these events. For example, the passage of time
applications is presented in [77]. DSPs could be related to the number of voyages
have been developed for hierarchical taken, the extent of corrosion of the hull,
design; coupled selection-compromise, or the obsolescence of the fittings. This
compromise-compromise and selection- is defined as event-based time. On the
selection. These constructs have been other hand, physical time is measured in
used to study interaction between design years, days and hours. While event-
and manufacture [70] and between based time bears some relationship to
various events in the conceptual phase of physical time, it need not be linearly
the design process [68]. The software related. Time in a design process may be
for implementing the DSP Technique is modeled using event-based time rather
called the DSIDES system (Decision than physical time.
Support in the Design of Engineering As we indicated earlier, the principal
Systems) [78] and the DSPT Workbook role of the design process is to convert
[79]. Support for human judgment in a information that characterizes the needs
computer-assisted environment is and requirements for a product into
provided in the form of a Partitioner, a knowledge about the product itself. For
Scheduler, a Reporting utility and other an engineering system, this conversion of
utilities by means of which a designer can information into knowledge is invariably
formulate and solve Decision Support accomplished in stages. In the traditional
Problems [80]. The Royal Australian design process names have been given to
Navy has incorporated DSIDES within the stages. In naval architecture these
AUSEVAL [81, 82]. AUSEVAL is a stages are frequently called feasibility,
proto-typical system for the preliminary conceptual, preliminary and detail design.
design of naval and commercial ships From the standpoint of the information
using Decision Support Problems and is
necessary for making decisions in each of occur; however, such an eventuality is
the stages their name and number are not not explicitly shown in Fig. 12.
important. What is important is that: One of the many scenarios that could
• the types of decisions being made be postulated by a designer to accomplish
(e.g., selection and compromise) are Conceptual Design through Detailed
the same in all stages, and Analysis is shown in Fig. 13. Let us
• the quantity of hard information assume that we wish to execute an
(relative to soft information) original design and that this process is
increases as the knowledge about the underway. Further, let us assume that
product increases. the economic viability of the project has
In the DSP Technique, see Fig. 12, been established and that the “go” signal
the qualitative ratio of hard-to-soft for the next event (Conceptual Design)
information available at any time in the has been received in
process is a key factor in determining the
nature of the support that a human
satisficing solution to a design problem.
We assert that it is possible, based on this
qualitative relationship to define any of T DECISION SUPPORT AUTOMATION
the processes in design in terms of O Ideation, CAD,
phases (e.g., designing for concept and O Artist's conception, Solid modelling,
L Selection, Tolerances,
designing for manufacture) and S Compromise, Manufacturing processes,
identifiable milestones or events (e.g., Rapid prototyping. Costing.
economic viability, preliminary P
synthesis, detailed analysis). We also A Designing for Designing for
believe that by using the qualitative S Concept Manufacture
relationship it is intuitively possible to E
categorize computer-based aids for
design into categories, for example, tools E Economic Detailed Detailed Processes
that can be used to provide support for V Viability Analysis Drawings for Serial
E (costing, Manufacture
the decision making activities of a human N manufacturability,
Conceptual Prototype
designer form one category while tools T etc.)
that facilitate design automation form S
Preliminary Dimensional
another category, (see Fig. 12). Synthesis Synthesis
By way of example, a simplified (includes
time-line for original design is illustrated
in Fig. 12. In the designing for concept
phase we seek to cast as wide a net as Fig. 12 A typical design time-
practicable in order to generate as many line: an example incorporating
concepts as possible and then to home in designing for concept and
systematically on a concept which designing for manufacture
satisfies the functional specifications and
which also can be produced and
maintained. In other words, in designing
for concept we are involved in the
process of converting information that
characterizes the needs and requirements
for a product into specific knowledge that
can be used in designing for manufacture
and maintenance. In the designing for
manufacture phase we seek to ensure that
the product can be manufactured cost-
effectively. We recognize that in practice
iteration between events (and phases) will
the form of a problem statement. Now, MACHINERY AND RELATED SPACES
we are ready to start the Conceptual
Design phase. The first task in this Event: Conceptual Design -
example is ideation, that is, the Ideation
generation of alternative ways (concepts) Generate many concepts. (CODOG, CODAD, COGOG, CODAG,
of achieving the objectives embodied in Electric, Steam, Sail, ER aft, ER midships, Direct drive, Indirect drive … )
the problem statement. Ideally, a large Decision via Preliminary Selection DSP
number of concepts should be generated. Select the Most-Likely-To-Succeed concepts.
Techniques that foster ideation include
brainstorming, attribute listing, check Engineering
listing and synectics. The end-product of Establish Functional Feasibility of Most-Likely-To Succeed concepts
given Essential Requirements. (Convert concepts to candidate
ideation is a group of concepts. At this alternatives)
stage information on these concepts will Decision via Selection DSP
be limited and most of it will be soft. Select one candidate alternative for development.
How can we identify the best → CODOG, ER midships, Direct Drive
concept? This is a three-step process: Engineering
• In the first step we use the available Establish the Cost-effectiveness and Manufacturability of the chosen
soft information to identify the more alternative. (Critically evaluate the selection)
promising “most-likely-to-succeed”
concepts. This is accomplished by Event: Preliminary Synthesis
formulating and solving a Decision via Compromise DSP
preliminary selection DSP. Improve the Functional Effectiveness of selected alternative through
• Next, we establish the functional modification. (Establish and accept a satisficing design)
feasibility, in the context of essential
requirements, of these most-likely- Event: Detailed Analysis
to-succeed concepts and develop Engineering
them into candidate alternatives. The Based on information provided in Preliminary Synthesis test the
development process includes Functional Feasibility of the selected alternative in the context of a
Comprehensive set of Requirements, and develop information on costs
engineering analysis and design; it and manufacturing.
is aimed at increasing the amount of
Decision via refined Compromise DSP
hard information that can be used to Improve, through modification, the Functional and Cost-effectiveness
characterize the suitability of the of the design. (Refine the Compromise DSP by including information on
alternative for selection. At the end costs and manufacturability - Establish and accept an improved design)
of this step the ratio of hard to soft
information should be significantly Event: Dimensional Synthesis …
greater than it was at the start of this
• In the third step we select one (or at Fig. 13 Designing for concept:
most two) candidate alternative for an idealization
further development. This is
accomplished by formulating and
solving a selection DSP which has
been designed to utilize both the hard
and the soft information available.
Of course, as needed, we can, and
should, repeat any of the preceding steps.

Let us assume that we are satisfied course, the value of the qualitative ratio
with the alternative we have selected for between hard and soft information has
further development. We develop this increased and upon analysis we are ready
alternative into a feasible alternative for the next phase, namely, Designing for
(thereby increasing the value of the Manufacture.
qualitative ratio between hard and soft As previously identified, the act of
information). This development results designing always involves some
in a feasible alternative; one that satisfies iterating. Iterating is costly and should
the functional requirements, is probably ideally be avoided and if it is necessary it
cost-effective and can be manufactured. should be accomplished as rapidly as
At this stage, we have a visceral feel for possible. In the DSP Technique rapid
the overall dimensions and character of iteration is possible by modifying and re-
the system but are unable to state with solving the DSPs. Iteration costs can
confidence its precise dimensions. also be reduced by evaluating the need
However, let us assume that we are for iteration at clearly defined points in
satisfied with the feasibility of the the design time-line. In the DSP
alternative and are ready to proceed to the Technique these points are the clearly
next phase, namely, Preliminary defined phases and events (see Fig. 13).
Synthesis. Now, how can a time-line of a process be
In Preliminary Synthesis the modeled using phases and events? The
alternative is improved through the answer: Meta-design.
modification of its dimensions. This is
achieved by formulating and solving a Meta-Design: A Paradigm for
compromise DSP. In this event our Partitioning and Planning in
earlier feel for the dimensions and general Engineering Design
character of the design's descriptors is
transformed from the imprecision of The development of methods for
unquantifiable parameters to precisely dividing system design problems into
defined, numerically stated measures of subproblems, solving these subproblems
the design's properties. We are ready and then synthesizing these solutions into
now to undertake the next phase, namely, a design for the entire system is
Detailed Analysis. important. We define the term system
There is sufficient information about [85] as follows:
the vessel at the start of the Detailed SYSTEM
Analysis phase to ensure functional A system is a grouping of associated
feasibility in the context of a entities which is characterized by a
comprehensive set of requirements and -- mental construct; one of the
in terms of the first-order information associated entities is the boundary.
used in the just-performed Preliminary The preceding definition is applicable to
Synthesis -- its cost-effectiveness and both concrete and conceptual systems. A
manufacturability. In Detailed Analysis concrete system, for example, a ship, or
we may perform a relatively complete a tension-leg platform for drilling, exists
stress analysis of the design using a finite in space and time and is composed of
element program, a relatively complete matter and energy organized by
simulation of the system, and the like. information. A conceptual system exists
We are now in a position to ensure the in the mind only and, hence,
functional feasibility of a design that is conceptualizations of presumably the
cost-effective and manufacturable. This same system may differ from observer to
is accomplished by augmenting the observer. Some of the constructs or
formulation of the compromise DSP used parts of conceptual systems may
for Preliminary Synthesis with economic correspond to real-world systems. For
and manufacturability considerations. example, the American Bureau of
The end-product of Preliminary
Synthesis is the preliminary design. Of
Shipping, considered as a whole is a META-DESIGN:
conceptual system which is synthesized a metalevel process of designing
from two constructs, one representing its systems that includes partitioning the
concrete subsystems such as its system for function, partitioning the
employees, computers, etc. and the other design process into a set of decisions
a conceptual subsystem representing its and planning the sequence in which
organization and structure. Note, our these decisions will be made.
definition of system is applicable to both Meta-design is particularly useful in the
the object being designed and the design design of systems in which concurrency
process itself; the object maybe a among disciplines is required or in which
concrete or conceptual system and the some degree of concurrency in analysis
design process itself is a conceptual and synthesis is sought. The specific
system. activities performed by a designer change
In order to facilitate a holistic as the design evolves. So do the specific
representation of a system in the early activities that constitute meta-design.
stages of project initiation, we need tools Rogan and Cralley [86] describe some of
that allow us to represent the desired the issues involved in using meta-design
functions of a system by constructing a in designing a design process for a real-
model of it using representations of world engineering system.
subsystems or clusters of subsystems A design problem may be divided
with assigned functions. These into subproblems either by
representations can be specific or generic. decomposition or partitioning. In the
The latter are of greater value initially in early stages of project initiation these
that each generic representation specifies terms are not synonyms. The processes
the function which a group of are different. In the context of design,
components (a subsystem) is required to and particularly in the context of the DSP
perform, for example, storage of Technique, the differences in the
information, matter or energy. In this meanings of the two terms are essential to
form, the representation need not indicate distinguish between two modes of
the physical characteristics of the approach to design problems.
subsystem, its cost or other pertinent Decomposition is the process of
information, only its function. We need dividing the system into its smallest,
tools to model the processes we use to coherent, self-contained elements. A
design these systems. At this early stage designer using decomposition is guided
in the design of a system, within the by the inherent structure of the system
bounds of reasonable connectivities, a and the Newtonian principles of
designer can arrange and rearrange its reductionism and mechanism and is
essential functional components without motivated by the knowledge that
regard for, say, physical or economic (although it may not be clearly revealed to
considerations. This offers a designer a designer) the solution being sought
the means to explore the feasibility of exists. This knowledge follows from the
different system configurations and to fact that either explicitly or implicitly the
pose and answer “what-if” kinds of problem statement specifies a closed
questions before the design has been system. If followed to completion,
frozen and changes in it can be made only decomposition always results in the same
with great difficulty. Similarly, we need subsystems, regardless of who performs
tools that allow us to represent, in the the decomposition. Decomposition is
early stages of project initiation, the appropriate especially when design
processes that we use to design these synthesis is based on the principle of
systems; tools that allow us to arrange repeated analysis. In decomposition,
and rearrange essential procedures or analysis progresses from the level of
activities without regard for, say, the parent system to subsystems to
available resources and this leads to meta- subsubsystems to … and finally to
design [60, 85].
components. The reverse process, process itself are discussed in the
synthesis, progresses from the following section.
component to system level. In adaptive
and variant design involving closed
systems, decomposition is important and Modeling Design Processes
the reversibility of the in the Decision Support
decomposition/synthesis process is Problem Technique
exploited. However, in original design,
decomposition must play a subordinate As indicated earlier, we believe it is
role to partitioning and planning since the unlikely that one model will emerge as
subsystems cannot be defined a priori. the ultimate model of design. We
Expressed differently, if the problem subscribe to the notion that the principal
statement implies an open system, one function of an engineer in general and a
that is incompletely specified, a designer design engineer in particular is to make
is precluded from using decomposition. decisions. In this context, in the earlier
Partitioning and planning is required. sections, we have provided a description
Partitioning is the process of dividing of our understanding of the nature of the
the functions, processes, and structures design environment and a categorization
that comprise the system into of the process of design (from a decision-
subsystems, subsubsystems, etc. In based perspective) in terms of phases,
partitioning a designer is guided by events, tasks, knowledge and
knowledge of the system's environment, information, and decisions. We expect
by considerations of the human needs the our decision-based model to take on
system must satisfy and the tasks that different forms to accommodate design of
must be performed by the fully functional systems in general -- designs that are
system. Partitioning a design problem characterized by information from
yields a grouping of interrelated decisions multiple disciplines, different types of
and also provides knowledge and designs, and different perspectives within
information that can be used for the life cycle. In effect, our model,
planning. In the Decision Support considered as a system, is open to its
Problem Technique we partition the environment and we expect it to evolve
system being designed into its with time. To facilitate this, our thrust is
subsystems and the process of design to make available tools (analogous to the
into decisions using generic, discipline- palette of a painter) that a human designer
independent models which have their can use to describe a design time-line. Of
origins in the taxonomy of general living course, in time, these descriptions along
systems theory [65, 85, 87]. a time-line could result in prescriptions
In planning, information about for parts of the overall process. By
organizational resources and time giving designers the lead role in model
constraints are added to the decisions development, we believe, it will ensure
identified in the partitioning phase and continuous feedback which can be used
these decisions are organized into a to improve the tools themselves.
decision plan, that is, a plan of action for
implementing the decision-based design Entities for Modeling Design
process. In the Decision Support Processes within the DSP
Problem Technique planning provides the Technique
structure within which we organize the
decisions we expect to make in the course The basic entities for modeling a
of designing a product. process in the DSP Technique, in an
Central to partitioning, decomposition ascending hierarchical order are:
and planning is our ability to model the Knowledge and Information, Tasks and
processes associated with design. The Decisions, Events and Phases. These
modeling and the design of the design basic entities are used to build

hierarchies and model design processes a process can occur in different forms,
independent of the domain of application. for example, as a computer program,
In Fig. 12 two phases, namely, knowledge base, rule, neural network,
Designing for Concept and Designing for mathematical programming formulation,
Manufacture, are indicated. Each of a simple formula, etc. However, a
these phases consists of Events, for uniform representation scheme can be
example, Economic Viability, Conceptual developed by recognizing that all
Design, etc. Tasks and Decisions are relationships require some form of input
used to model Events (see Fig. 13). The and generate an appropriate output. This
role of Tasks and Decisions is to use view facilitates the combination of
what is known about a product to learn different types of relationships into
more and to augment the already known networks and paths, that is, into
data with the new. Both Tasks and hierarchies. These hierarchies represent
Decisions require knowledge and the knowledge and information held and
information as input and they produce generated at different levels of
knowledge and information as output. In complexity. An example of this is the
the DSP Technique a Decision entity is combination of subroutines into a
modeled as a DSP. Communication FORTRAN program. In a computer
between entities is maintained by using program several relationships are
the Knowledge and Information entity. combined into a larger, more complex
Thus, while Phases, Events, Tasks and relationship. Extensive work in the use
Decision entities embody knowledge and of relationships in ship design is being
information, they do so at different levels performed by Duffy and MacCullum
of abstraction. [51]. At the meta-design level, the actual
In keeping with our definition of a formulation of the relationship is in most
system presented earlier, a system can be cases not needed. For planning
modeled by a grouping of associated purposes, in evaluating what should be
subsystems. Accordingly, a process is a done next or when creating a model or
system as are, potentially, the higher- hierarchy, it is sufficient to know
level entities used to model the process. whether one or more relationships can be
A system may have subsystems. found in order to progress. However, at
Similarly, entities may embody other the design level where one is actually
entities. Thus, a hierarchy of processes formulating, solving and debugging
can be modeled using the basic entities relationships, specific information about
we have just introduced. the form of the relationship is required.
A system has certain properties. This brings us to the context in which
These properties are characterized by the entities are used. Design requires
system descriptors, namely, system more detailed information about the
variables and their relationships. entities than meta-design. Therefore we
Relationships between the system distinguish between knowledge and
variables exist and can be modeled as information used by the entities and
analytical relationships (for example, knowledge and information about the
force = mass * acceleration), or as goals, entities. We call the former design
constraints and bounds. The goals, knowledge and the latter meta-
constraints and bounds represent the knowledge.
aspirations, requirements and limits
imposed on a system respectively. Introducing the DSPT Palette
Constraints and bounds describe the
feasible design space (the space In this section we introduce the
representing all feasible solutions) and Decision Support Problem Technique
the goals define the aspiration space. Palette which is used to model a process.
All entities embody relationships but This palette, shown in Fig. 14, contains
all relationships are not restricted to being symbols or icons for the basic entities
mathematical in nature. Relationships in described in the preceding section.
mark often connotates a call for a
P Phase decision. Currently we have only
included specifically the preliminary
selection, selection and compromise
E Event
decisions in the palette. The
corresponding icons are a combination of
the basic decision icon with some further
T Task
symbolism. Selection is a converging
activity since the number of alternatives is
? Decision … reduced. The icons for both selection
DSPs characterize this in our palette. The
selection DSP icon has a single point,
i Information … indicating that on solving a selection DSP
a single alternative is identified for further
? development. The preliminary selection
icon is similar but it does not end with a
? Compromise point indicating that on solving a
i preliminary selection DSP a number of
most-likely-to-succeed concepts are
? Selection System identified for further development. The
icon for a compromise DSP ends in a
System “C”. A compromise represents a trade-
? Selection Variable off between conflicting goals. When
there is no conflict between the goals the
Goals / Bounds solution could be represented by the
upper or lower extremes of the C in the
rectangle. However, when there is a
Relationship conflict, which invariably is the case, the
result emerges from the middle
representative of a compromise between
Fig. 14 The DSPT palette for two extremes.
modeling processes Knowledge and information are
required to model any process. In the
palette, knowledge and information about
The Phase icon is identified by a “P” the process and product are classified as
and can be used to partition a process into systems. A system is identified by a
smaller more manageable pieces. Events circle with a smaller circle in the middle.
occur within a phase and the Event icon This is illustrative of the central
is identified by an “E”. Tasks and nature of a system in the
Decisions occur within Events. A task is
an activity to be accomplished. The
design process itself is a task for the
design team, namely, “convert
information into knowledge about the
product”. The task itself may contain
other tasks and decisions -- as in the
design task. However, simple tasks like
“run computer program A” do not
involve decisions. In our palette a task is
identified by a “T”.
A Decision icon is defined by a
rectangle having a question mark within
it. This choice was natural as a question

process and also the fact that other information is connected to the design
systems and their associated knowledge information by lines of a different type.
and information are embedded in the In a computer environment the meta-
system. This embodiment is symbolized information can be stored in a different
by the small circle. layer which can be projected onto the
System variables (e.g., principal layer with the primary design process
dimensions, length of an event, number description. Needless to say the same
of people involved in a task) are icons are used to model both meta- and
embedded in systems. The icon for a design- knowledge and information.
system variable is a small circle showing
its atom-like character and that no lower Using the DSPT Palette for the
hierarchical level is possible. Design of a Frigate
Relationships are often considered as
“black boxes”. Hence, our In this section we illustrate the use of
representation of analytical relationships the DSPT Palette using the design of a
as plain rectangles. All icons having a frigate as an example. The partitioning,
rectangular shape are in fact of this example, follows the same general
relationships. Phases, Events, Tasks and pattern illustrated earlier (see Fig. 13) --
Decisions are relationships. An icon but it is markedly different in respect to
consisting of a nozzle embedded within a the details of implementation. In Fig. 15
rectangle is representative of a a portion of the time-line of the life cycle
goal/constraint/bound type relationship. of a frigate is shown. From left to right,
The nozzle is symbolic of the restrictive the qualitative relationship between hard
nature of these relationships. and soft information increases. The
As shown, all icons embody design Phases, Events and product
deterministic/hard knowledge and specific information are included. The
information. Soft knowledge and graphics on the bottom line represent the
information are to be represented using strategic need, the various concepts, the
the same icons but with different grey selected basic concept, the preliminary
scales applied. The darker the icon design, the contract negotiations, the
appears, the more one is looking in the manufacturing, the finished ship, the ship
dark and the softer the knowledge and after the half-life refit and the
information available. As the icon decommissioned ship.
becomes lighter, the knowledge and As shown in Fig. 15, the design is
information becomes clearer and harder. partitioned into four major design phases
Using the icons in this palette we are for this example. Typically, the end of
able to describe processes. Design each phase is not abrupt and it is often
knowledge and information flows from difficult to see when a
left to right through the icons.
Meta- knowledge and


Development of Naval Staff Requirements (NSR)

E Conceptual Design
Preliminary Design
EVENTS Contract Design
Tender Evaluation
Contract Negotiations
Detail Design
Post Design
Intermediate Dockings
Half Life Refit

Strategic Need / Foreign Policy

i Statement of Requirements
Basic Concept (product of Conceptual Design)
PRODUCT Top Level Specification (product of Preliminary Design)
SPECIFIC Ship Characteristics (product of Preliminary Design)
INFORMATION Detailed Ship Design and Construction Specification (product of Contract Design)
Contract Guidance Drawings (products of Contract Design)
Construction Work Packages (products of Detail Design)
Maintenance Documentation
Operational Documentation
Test and Trial Reports
Service Life History

YARD Commissioning Refit Scrap


Fig. 15 Time-line for designing a frigate

new phase starts. Therefore, the phases Macintosh™) a designer could click on
in Fig. 15 overlap each other. Within and “open” an icon. By this action, the
these phases we identify a number of lower level models would be displayed.
Events. Events are not restricted to one By way of example we have opened the
phase. For instance the preliminary Phase icon for Designing for Concept in
design event is found in designing for Fig. 16. Now the events that constitute
concept, manufacture and maintenance. this phase are visible.
The horizontal bars in Fig. 15 provide an The first event is the development of
indication of the duration, in physical the Naval Staff Requirements which
time, of phases and events. Input to the results in a document. This document
design process is a strategic need or plus general design information forms the
foreign policy and during the life of the input for the conceptual design event
frigate more and more hard information which feeds forward a basic concept
(e.g., drawings, documentation) while initiating a feedback loop to the
becomes available. Thus, the ratio of development of the naval staff
hard to soft information is seen to requirement event. The basic concept
increase as the time-line is traversed from and the general design knowledge
left to right. provide the necessary information for the
The icons from the DSPT Palette are preliminary and contract design events.
now used to model the time-line shown Note that again an overlap between these
in Fig. 15. In Fig. 16 the top level model two events occurs. The preliminary
is given. This model consists of four design event provides the top level
overlapping phases (Designing for specification and the ship characteristics,
Concept, Designing for Manufacture, whereas the contract design event
Designing for Maintenance and provides the general specification and the
Designing for Improvement) and the guidance drawings. For a closer look we
input and output information (the open the conceptual and preliminary
strategic need and the total life cycle design events.
design knowledge). On a computer A model of the conceptual design
desk-top (like that provided by an Apple event is given in Fig. 17. The primary

goal of this event is to establish the basic Conceptual
concept. Therefore concepts have to be Design
generated from general design E i
knowledge. Our model reveals that a
preliminary selection DSP is to be solved
to identify the most suitable concepts for
Extract Goals
further development. This is to be NSR and Constraints
followed by solving a compromise DSP i T
to improve these concepts through
modification. Finally a selection DSP is Determine i Goals and
Attributes Constraints
to be solved to identify the basic concept. Influencing
Attributes T i
Attributes are modeled in both the
preliminary selection and the selection Suitable
Concepts Concepts
i ? i ? i ?
Strategic Need/ Improved
Foreign Policy Concepts
i P
P Measures of
P i Total Life Cycle Generate T i Improvement
Design Information Concepts
(Knowledge) (variables)

General Design Determine
Concept(s) Knowledge Areas for
Information Top Potential Improvement
i Level
i Specification

Strategic Need/ Preliminary

Fig. 17 A model of the
i Ship
Foreign Policy NSR Design conceptual design event
i E i E i E
Development Conceptual Basic General
of NSR Design Concept Contract
Design DSPs. Therefore, a task is introduced in
i Specification

the model for determining the most

i influential attributes from the naval staff
General Design Drawings
requirements. For the compromise DSP
we need to know the areas to be
Fig. 16 A model of the improved and what the goals and
designing for concept phase constraints are. The goals and
constraints are extracted from the naval
staff requirements. The task of finding
the areas of possible improvement
depend on the concept to be improved
and the general design knowledge. After
having improved the concepts the basic
concept is selected. In the model,
concurrency can be detected easily. The
tasks of determining the influencing
attributes, extracting the goals and
constraints from the naval staff
requirements and the generation of
concepts can be performed
simultaneously. Also, the task of
extracting goals and constraints and the
task of determining the areas for potential

improvement can be performed Preliminary Top
concurrently. Design Level
i Specification
Once the basic concept is known E
from the conceptual design event we can i Ship
start the preliminary design event. A
model of the preliminary design event is
given in Fig. 18. The results of the Goals and Refine Goals and
preliminary design event are the ship Constraints Constraints
characteristics and the top level i T
specification. For this the basic concept
needs to be refined. The subsystems and Hull
Analysis Goals and
their associated information have to be i
determined. This ordering of information Concept Specification
is a task. Using this information a Propeller
i Order Concepts & Model Prepare
preliminary ship synthesis needs to be Information Attributes ? Solution Documents
performed. A propeller selection needs T i ? i T
to be made and the propeller and hull ?

dimensions have to be determined. We i Propeller Preliminary

General Analysis Ship
use compromise DSPs for the Design Synthesis
i Characteristics
dimensioning and a selection DSP for the Knowledge
propeller selection. The goals and Experimental
constraints obtained from the naval staff Validation
requirements may need to be refined prior i E

to solving the DSPs. In Fig. 18 we have Experimental

only shown the hull and propeller
subsystems, but DSPs for the machinery Fig. 18 A model of the
selection, compartment arrangement etc.
can be added. This is implied by the preliminary design event
dotted line below the DSPs and the
analysis information icons. The DSPs obtained the corresponding documents,
are not independent of each other. A the top level specification and the ship
change in the hull dimensions affects the characteristics, need to be prepared.
propeller choice and dimensioning in Preliminary ship synthesis is a key
general. Therefore, the DSPs are element shown in Fig. 18. Therefore we
modeled as being coupled and should be have focused on this element again in
solved concurrently. The model solution Fig. 19. The information blocks consist
obtained from the preliminary ship of various systems (in this case propeller
synthesis is validated next in an types), system variables, analytical
experimental validation event. In this relationships and goal/constraint
event towing tank tests, data relationships.
interpretation, etc., are performed. The Note the use and amount of grey
experimental validation is then fed back shading in the resistance calculation and
and is ordered with the other available seakeeping calculation relationships.
information. Preliminary ship synthesis Both are empirical relationships.
may need to be performed again. If a Assuming an available set of algorithms,
satisfactory model is the seakeeping calculation is shown
darker, implying that it is more vague
than the resistance calculation. As we
have stated, the DSPs forming the
preliminary ship synthesis model should
be solved concurrently. We are able to
solve such problems using the coupled
mathematical formulations of the DSPs

shown in the lower part of Fig. 19. A Length Volume greater than
more detailed discussion of the Beam
Required Volume
Achieve desired
“Compromise DSP” in general follows, Draft Seakeeping Performance
as do some sample DSPs relating to the Depth Depth to Propeller Shaft
...... within specified bounds
design of a light-patrol frigate. ......
In Fig. 20 we illustrate, using icons Calculation
from the DSPT Palette, the Evans/Buxton Seakeeping Hull
design spiral using as a basis the Calculation Analysis
i i Goals and
representation provided by Buxton [41, Calculation Constraints
88]. The model is sequential with a Propeller
refinement loop and the available Concepts & Model
information increments after each task is Attributes ? Solution
completed. Whereas the DSPT Palette i ? i
was developed for use in the DSP Wageningen
Technique it can be used to model the B-series
Propeller Preliminary
Controllable Analysis Ship
ship design spiral and extrapolating, all Pitch
manner of design models, both ......

descriptive and prescriptive.

In both the frigate and the design
spiral examples detailed above, the meta-
knowledge and information has not been Selection DSP Compromise DSP 1 Compromise DSP 2
(Propeller) (Hull) (Propeller )
depicted in order to simplify the figures. _____________________________________________________________
Y, e- , e+ X, d-, d+ S, h -, h+
The Compromise Decision
Support Problem: Some Satisfy
∑Y=1 g1(S,X,Y) ≥ 0 g 2(S,X,Y) ≥ 0
Details MF(X,S) . Y + e- - e+ = 1 A1(S,X,Y) + d- - d+ = G1 A2(S,X,Y) + h - - h+ = G
e- * e+ = 0 # d- * d+ = 0 # h - * h+ = 0 #
The difference between the 0 ≤ Y≤ 1 Xmin ≤ X ≤ Xmax S min ≤ S ≤ Smax
compromise DSP and the traditional e- , e+≥ 0 d- , d+≥ 0 h - , h +≥ 0
single objective formulation for a two
dimensional problem is illustrated in Fig. Minimize (Lexicographically)
21. In the case of the single objective Z = { f1(e -, d- , d+ , h- , h+), ..., fk(e -, d-, d+, h- , h+) }
formulation, shown in Fig. 21a, the
objective is a function of the system X, Y, S - system variables h- , h+, d-, d+, e-, e+ - deviation variables
variables. The space representing all g - constraint functions A - goal functions G - goal target values
feasible solutions (the feasible design MFi - merit function of alternative i
Z - deviation function (Preemptive form, k priority levels)
space) is surrounded by the system
constraints and bounds of the problem. # can be omitted if a vertex-solution algorithm is used

The objective is to maximize the value of

Z and hence, as shown in the figure, the
solution will be at vertex A. Fig. 19 An example of modeling
preliminary ship synthesis

Trading Determine Determine
Pattern Speed Dimensions Fig. 20 A model of the
i T i T i T i Buxton/Evans design spiral using
INITIAL i i i the palette
INFORMATION Incremental i i
Information Incremental i
Information Incremental


Determine Determine
Trim and Lightweight Determine
Stability Deadweight Economics
T i T i T i ?
i i i i i i

i i i i i i
i i i i i i
i i i i i i
i i i i i i
i i i i i i
i i i i i i
Incremental i i i
Information Incremental Incremental DESIGN
Information Information OUTPUT
A2(X) + d 2- - d2+ = G2
Z = W 1 A1(X) + W2 A2(X) + W3 A3(X)
X2 X2 A1(X) + d1 - - d1+ = G 1
Direction of increasing Z
A A A3(X) + d3- - d3 + = G
Feasible Feasible Deviation
Design Design Function
Space Space Z = W 3 (d1- + d1+) + W3 (d 2-+ d 2+) + W3 (d3 -+ d

X1 X1
Bounds Bounds
System constraints System constraints
System goals

(a) (b)

Fig. 21 A single objective optimization problem and the multigoal

compromise decision support problem

In the compromise formulation, the solution to this problem represents a

set of system constraints and bounds trade-off between that which is desired
again define the feasible design space, (as modeled by the aspiration space) and
whereas the set of system goals define that which can be achieved (as modeled
the aspiration space (see Fig. 21b and by the design space). For illustrative
Fig. 22). For feasibility the system purposes assume that there is no point of
constraints and bounds must again be overlap between the design space and the
satisfied whereas the system goals are to aspiration space. Further, the
be achieved to the extent possible. The Archimedean form (see Fig. 22) has been

used and it is assumed that the goals are to multiobjective optimization models;
equally important. Can the standard they both share the concept of deviation
single objective form provide a solution variables which provide a measure of the
to a problem posed in this way? The “goodness” of the solution with respect
answer is no. In the standard form there to the target values of goals. They both
is no provision to model “soft” share the concept of problem variables
constraints; the goals of the compromise
DSP are akin to soft constraints.
Further, no information is available,
when the standard form is used, as to
what a designer should do to alter the
model to obtain a feasible solution.
The solution for the compromise DSP
shown in Fig. 21b is at vertex A. This is
the same solution as that obtained for the
problem illustrated in Fig. 21a. The
difference is that in the compromise case
with the aspiration space modeled, the
best possible solution can be identified.
Given a solution, it is left to a designer to
accept this solution or to explore the
problem further by modifying the
aspirations and/or the feasible design
space and re-solving. The values of the
deviation variables provide a measure in
assessing the degree by which each of the
goals have not been achieved and are a
source of some very useful information.
One of the first and most widely used
multiobjective mathematical programming
techniques is Goal Programming (GP)
[89]. In our opinion, the compromise
DSP is a subset of goal programming; a
subset that is particularly suitable for use
in engineering. The term “goal
programming” is used, by its developers
[90], to indicate the search for an
“optimal” program (i.e., set of policies to
be implemented), for a mathematical
model that is composed solely of goals.
This does not represent a limitation, in
fact any mathematical programming
model (e.g., linear programming), may
find an alternate representation via GP.
Further, not only does GP provide an
alternative representation, it often
provides a representation that is more
effective than other techniques in
capturing the nature of real world
From our perspective, the terms
“Compromise Decision Support
Problem” and “Goal Programming” are
synonymous to the extent that they refer
and hard and soft goals (called system
variables, system constraints and system
A1 (X)/G1 + d 1 - - d1 + = T 1
A2(X)/G2 + d2 - - d2 + = T 2
goals in the compromise DSP
Space formulation). What distinguishes the
Function A3 (X)/G 3 + d 3 - - d 3+ = T 3 compromise DSP formulation is the fact
that it is tailored to handle common
engineering design situations in which
System constraints
System goals
physical limitations manifest themselves
as system constraints (mostly
An Alternative to be improved through modification,
Assumptions used to model the domain of interest,
The system parameters,
inequalities) and bounds. These
The goals for the design,
n number of system variables
constraints and bounds are handled
number of system constraints
equality constraints
inequality constraints
separately from the system goals,
m number of system goals
Gi value that is desirable to achieve
Ai(X) that which can be achieved
contrary to the goal programming
Ti target value, nondimensional ratio
g i (X) system constraint function
Capability ≥ Demand
g i (X) = Ci (X) - D i (X)
formulation in which everything is
fk (di) function of deviation variables to
be minimized at priority level k
for Preemptive case
converted into goals.
Wi weight for Archimedean case
The system descriptors, namely,
The values of the independent system variables:
Xj j = 1,..., n
The values of the deviation variables:
system and deviation variables, system
di -, d +

i i = 1,..., m
constraints, system goals, bounds and
The system constraints (linear, nonlinear):
g i (X) = 0;
g i (X) ≥ 0;
i = 1,..., p
i = p+1,...,p+q the deviation function are described in
di -* di+ = 0; i = 1,..., m
The system goals (linear, nonlinear):
Ai(X)/G i + di - - di+ = T i ; i = 1,..., m
The lower and upper bounds on the system variables:
detail elsewhere (for example, [43, 67])
Xj min ≤ Xj ≤ Xj max ; j = 1,..., n
The lower bounds on the deviation variables:
d i - , di ≥ 0
and will not be repeated here. The
The deviation function:
mathematical form of the compromise
Case a: Preemptive (lexicographic minimum)
Z = [ f 1( d i -, d i +), . . ,fk ( d i -, di +) ]
Case b: Archimedean
DSP is summarized in Fig. 22. The
Z = ∑ Wi( d i - + d i+) ;
∑ Wi = 1; Wi≥ 0
selection DSP can be formulated and
solved as a compromise DSP [69] (this is
Fig. 22 The compromise important for facilitating concurrency in
decision support problem synthesis). This makes it possible to
formulate and solve coupled selection-
selection DSPs and coupled selection-
compromise DSPs [50, 68, 70]. In
effect the mathematical form of the
coupled DSPs are akin to compromise
DSPs. The compromise DSP is solved
using an extension of the SLIPML
algorithm [53] that is part of the DSIDES
System [78]. For coupled DSPs the
SLIPML algorithm calls on the
MULTIPLEX algorithm to effect solution
As indicated in Fig. 22 the system
and deviation variables in a compromise
DSP are always nonnegative. Further, to
effect solution one of the following three
conditions must hold, namely,
di- = 0 and di+ = 0 or
di- = 0 and di+ > 0 or
di- > 0 and di+ = 0 .
This requirement is modeled by:
di- . d i+ = 0.
The preceding constraint must be
satisfied to obtain a solution of the
compromise DSP. The satisfaction of

this constraint poses a problem for elsewhere [81, 82] and the specific
gradient-based nonlinear programming problems were developed and solved
algorithms. If we are willing to accept a using AUSEVAL.
vertex solution then this constraint is
satisfied as a matter of course. Since
SLIPML and its extension, the ALP Design Requirements For a Light-
algorithm, are based on the notion of Patrol Frigate
sequential linear programming that results
in solutions at the vertex, this constraint A new frigate is required for
can be omitted from the formal undertaking general, long-distance patrol
mathematical model. duties off the east coast of Australia.
This frigate must have high-speed pursuit
capability together with an extensive
range and endurance. Weapons and
Designing a Light-Patrol sensors include a large anti-submarine
Frigate helicopter with an appropriate handling
system, a medium-calibre gun, a
We use a practical example, namely, surveillance radar, a point-defence
the design of a light-patrol frigate to weapon system, a hull-mounted sonar
illustrate some of the points made earlier system and a close-in weapon system.
in this paper: The frigate is also required to be fully
• By using a practical example we operable, including helicopter operations,
provide a flavor of the mechanics of in seastate 5, have a maximum sustained
applying the Decision-Based Design speed of no less than 30 knots and have
paradigm to a design problem. In an endurance speed of at least 18 knots.
particular, this frigate example is The range is to be at least 5000 NM at the
used to highlight some facets of the endurance speed of 18 knots. The
preliminary ship synthesis module of technical requirements for the ship
Fig. 19. include a combined diesel or gas
• In practice, ship design involves a (CODOG) machinery system located
number of trade-offs (or amidships, two propeller shafts, a steel
compromises) between economic hull and steel superstructure and a 2.55
and technical efficiency. The meters target height between decks.
efficacy of using the compromise
DSP in such cases is illustrated
through example. The example Hull Synthesis: The Frigate
involves the determination of that set Template
of principal dimensions that satisfy a
multitude of constraints and is also In considering machinery, in many
representative of the best trade-off cases, the requirement of naval ships to
between technical and economic operate over a range of speeds requires a
efficiency. hybrid system. For instance, with a
• A DSP template can evolve with CODOG arrangement the diesels are
time, be used to explore the solution adequate to deliver power at the
space and/or quantify rapidly the endurance speed while gas turbines are
effect of changing requirements on utilized to achieve maximum speed.
the solution. This too is illustrated Another alternative is diesel and diesel
in this section. (CODAD) where in the sprint condition,
A reduced set of design requirements for all engines are on line. Similarly,
a light-patrol frigate are listed in the configurations such as CODAG and
following section. Additional COGAG are possibilities. The primary
information pertaining to the conceptual template detailed herein offers machinery
design of this vessel is reported arrangement specification in the form of a
select one-from-many menu. Later

discussion relates to exploring the effect • Payload - number
of alternate machinery arrangements via and type of weapons,
rapid redesign and augmentation of the aircraft, command,
frigate template with a machinery system control and
selection template. surveillance equipment
Returning to the model of Fig. 19 and Desirable Characteristics
continuing on from the preceding general • Machinery Type (CODOG or
discussion, the hull synthesis model for CODAD or COGAG or Steam
this frigate is detailed in the form of a Turbine)
compromise DSP. In light of the design • Location of machinery space
requirements quoted, and given that the (aft or midships)
ship is required to remain at sea for • Number of propeller shafts
extensive periods, the goals for the • Hull and superstructure material
design are identified (in order of priority) (steel and/or aluminium)
• Achieve the desired capital cost. Find
• Achieve the desired seakeeping The principal ship dimensions
quality. LPP - length between
• Achieve the desired endurance speed perpendiculars in
powering. meters
• Achieve the desired maximum B - ship design beam in
sustained speed powering. meters
• Achieve the desired displacement. T - ship design draft in
• Achieve the desired height between meters
decks. D - ship design depth in
It is recognized that while the template meters
described accommodates and synthesizes The form coefficients
most aspects of naval ship design, some Cb - block coefficient
items such as through life costs and the Cp - prismatic coefficient
choice of structural arrangement, either Cw - waterplane
longitudinal or transverse framing, are coefficient
not currently included in the model. The Cm - midship section
frigate template is formulated as follows: coefficient
Given and
Naval Operational Requirements LCB - longitudinal center
• Ship Type (frigate) of buoyancy in
• Speed - maximum meters forward of midships
sustained in knots LCF - longitudinal center of
- endurance floatation in
in knots meters forward of midships
• Range - at SDKHT- standard height between
endurance speed in nautical decks in meters
• Endurance - days at sea Satisfy
• Seakeeping - maximum The following system constraints:
seastate for normal Space
ship and helicopter • Displacement is equal to or
operation. greater than the estimated weight
• Internal volume is equal to or
greater than the required internal

• Total deck area is equal to or The following system bounds:
greater than the required deck area • All variables, except LCB and
• Length must exceed aerial, LCF, must be positive
weapon and ship system • The block coefficient, Cb, lies
separation requirements between 0.4 and 0.9
• The double bottom height is • The waterplane coefficient, Cw,
between 0 and 1.5 meters lies between 0.65 and 0.9
Stability • The prismatic coefficient, Cp,
• The intact stability in the lies between 0.55 and 0.85
minimum operating condition • The midship section coefficient,
exceeds the minimum requirement Cm, lies between 0.7 and 0.995
determined in accordance with
RAN Stability Criteria The following system goals:
Seakeeping • The capital cost is equal to or
• The seakeeping rank is greater smaller than the target value
than that required for the specified • The seakeeping quality is equal
sea state for normal ship operations to or greater than the target value
and for helicopter operations • The endurance speed powering
• The natural period of roll is is equal to or smaller than the
greater than the period of encounter target value
• The natural period of heave is • The maximum sustained speed
greater than 120% of the period of powering is equal to or smaller
encounter relevant to heave, i.e. than the target value
ship operates in supercritical • The displacement is equal to or
region smaller than the target value
• The natural period of pitch is • The height between decks is
greater than 120% of the period of equal to or greater than the target
encounter relevant to pitch, i.e. value
ship operates in supercritical Minimize
region • The deviation function.
• Freeboard is greater than the The preceding word problem has
required freeboard at midships been transformed into a mathematical
Form form (a compromise DSP) and solved.
• The prismatic coefficient is Some comments on the mathematical
within limits defined by the model, its solution and partial results
speed-length ratio follow.
• The LCF is at least a given
percentage aft of the LCB
• The form coefficient Some Comments on the
relationship, Cb=Cp*Cm Formulation and Solution
• Minimum and maximum values
for : The general mathematical form of a
L/B L/D L/T compromise DSP is shown in Fig. 19
B/D B/T T/D and in greater detail in Fig. 22. For the
Cb/Cw Cb/Cp Cw/Cp frigate DSP, the bounds on the system
SDKHT variables (e.g., 100 m ≤ LPP ≤ 200 m)
and the linear constraints which represent
the hull geometry “design lanes”
(e.g., 1.220 ≤ 1.0942*Cb + 1.0*C w ≤
1.260) are easily represented in the
template implemented on a computer.
However, the nonlinear constraints and
goals cannot be so easily represented in

the computer template. Each of them has or a designer's current preferences and
been encoded in a subroutine or set of the effects of such changes are shown in
subroutines and it is sufficient to identify [81, 82].
here a subject list of the library modules One difficulty in developing a
utilized to effect solution: compromise DSP for computer
A/C LOADS COSTS implementation is that of modeling
COMPLEMENT DECK algorithmically the drafting functions
AREAS associated with traditional design work.
ELECTRICAL LOADS That is, the representation of the “lines
FREEBOARD plan” and the general arrangement. Ship
HYDROSTATICS geometry, and in particular the area and
POWERING location of decks, significantly affects the
PROPELLERS calculation of internal volume, total deck
RANGE area and system separation and to a lesser
SEAKEEPING extent all other areas of the design.
STABILITY Weapon and system location affects
STRENGTH VOLUME vertical, longitudinal and transverse
WEIGHTS centers of gravity but also influences
Further details are provided in [81, 82]. weight, internal volume and various
As identified earlier, the frigate hull system interactions. This difficulty has
synthesis template has six independent been overcome by using a standard
goals which collectively represent a layout or profile and allowing a designer
measure of performance for the design. to select the location of certain weapons
In this problem, economic efficiency is and systems. The Standard Frigate
modeled directly by the capital cost goal Profile, as shown in Fig. 23, defines the
and technical efficiency by the remaining ship geometry in terms of the principal
goals. All goals are assigned priorities dimensions and is based on both the
and treated preemptively [90, 91]. That policy and design practices of a designer.
is, improvements in the design are made In general, it establishes ship features
based on the priority assigned to a such as the length of decks, location and
particular goal; lower priority goals height of masts and funnels, location and
affect the solution only after the higher dimensions of the flight deck and location
priority goals have had their chance at of machinery spaces. The frigate
improving the design. Thus, for template created allows a designer to
example, if the cost goal is assigned a modify this standard profile by choosing
higher priority than the seakeeping goal, the number of propeller shafts, the
a minimum cost design will be found first location of the machinery spaces and the
followed by a design that represents the location of some weapons and systems.
best, feasible trade-off while keeping cost It is intended that the standard profile
effectively constant and improving be continually updated to include and
seakeeping, and so on. In this way a so- mirror both trends in design and accepted
called lexicograhic minimum is found. design practice. To this end and so as
In the frigate DSP, the priorities can be not to bias the designs generated, the use
varied to suit the Naval Staff of a representative general profile which
Requirements also incorporates the designer’s
philosophy is recommended, in contrast
to using the profile of an existing vessel.
However, in some circumstances, using
an existing vessel may be justified.
Further, alternate profiles could also be
proposed and examined.

The Baseline Solution

The baseline Light-Patrol Frigate The output is extensive and information
design that follows, with a range of 5000 provided includes:
nautical miles, is for the case where the
cost goal had the highest priority. This • Technical Information
implies a “minimum cost ship”. While all Proportions and principal
other goals identified are not at the same dimensions, hydrostatic information,
priority level, they are technical in nature. propulsive characteristics,
Therefore, the solution could be stated in preliminary powering and propeller
terms of a trade-off between economic design, electrical loads, complement,
and technical efficiency. It is assumed stability assessment and minimum
that the weapon and sensor requirements KG curve, seakeeping performance,
incorporate the following major payload areas and volumes required and
items: available including margins, weight
• Weapons - 76 mm OTO-MELARA estimation including margins, and
gun, 20 mm VULCAN-PHALANX strength calculations
CIWS, vertical launch
SEASPARROW (16 cell), • Economic Information
HARPOON (2x4-cell canisters), Mk Shipbuilders cost estimate,
32 torpedo tubes (2 triple tubes), and equipment costs, first outfit of stores
a Seahawk helicopter (SH-60) costs, other project costs, and total
• Sensors - SPS 49 air-search radar, capital cost estimate for ship.
SPS 55 surface-search radar, Mk 92
FCS (2 channel with STIR), Selected output for this design showing
Mulloka sonar, SLQ-32V(2) ECM, principal characteristics, costs, areas,
NIXIE torpedo decoy, SRBOC volumes and weights is presented in Fig.
chaff launcher, and Data LINK 11. 24 and Fig. 25. Of significant interest,
while adding validity to the model, is the
fact that the ship is shown to be volume
limited as one would expect for a
warship. While not directly evident from
the results, the use of a lexicographic
deviation function to model the multiple
and conflicting goals (technical and
A. Gun System
economic) ensured that the solution
B. Missile System
C. Box/ process
Cannister continued until the best solution
Missile accordance with all goals was found.
D. Torpedo Tubes &
Magazine the optimization process, the
intermediate solutions indicated that a
B minimum length/displacement ship was
found relatively quickly. From an
economic perspective, this is
Fig. 23 The standard frigate understandable since a “minimum cost
profile ship” would generally equate with a
minimum length/displacement ship.
However, the process continued beyond
this point, not converging and
terminating until all possible
improvements in technical efficiencies
were made.
Extending the above, the results of a
study for determining the effect of
installing CODOG, CODAD or COGAG
machinery plants, is presented. These
results reflect a consistent requirement for
the minimum cost ship with all priority
levels identical to those in the baseline
solution above. Only the machinery type
specification has been varied. In Fig. 26
we illustrate the effect of selecting each of COGAG

the three different machinery
installations. A histogram identifying
relative values of power installed, CODAD
seakeeping rank and capital cost for each
is given. The COGAG power plant with Power Installed
its high space and fuel requirements Seakeeping Rank
results in a ship with a lower seakeeping, CODOG
Capital Cost
higher installed power and increased
cost. The CODAD and CODOG
installations result in similar designs with 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
the reduced weight of the CODOG plant UNIT VALUE
providing a greater benefit than the
reduced volume of the CODAD plant.
Therefore, the CODOG ship has slightly Fig. 26 The effect of machinery
lower cost and installed power and a selection
small advantage in seakeeping

----------------- --------------------------------


LABOUR 89.557
CB = 0.4698 CW = 0.7186 MATERIALS 24.528
CP = 0.5694 CM = 0.8182
TOTAL 114.086



KG = 5.12 METERS



TOTALS 389.862





CRUISE = 914.43 KW
HARBOUR = 540.92 KW
SALVAGE = 167.00 KW




Fig. 24 The baseline solution: principal characteristics and costs

-------------------------------------------------------- --------------


M**2 M**3 -----------------------------------------------------
100 STRUCTURE 762.02 5.17
STRUCTURE 853.50 2424.86
200 PROPULSION PLANT 263.77 3.00
PROPULSION PLANT 58.30 1357.37
300 ELECTRICAL PLANT 154.30 5.12
400 COMMAND & CONTROL 97.63 8.73
COMMAND AND CONTROL 482.00 1192.30
500 AUXILIARY SYSTEMS 303.70 5.62
600 OUTFIT & FURNISHINGS 204.27 6.41
OUTFIT 696.00 1721.67
700 ARMAMENT 36.26 9.71
ARMAMENT 273.10 675.56
DESIGN MARGIN * 218.63 6.59
LOAD VARIABLES 425.00 1080.93
MARGIN (TOTAL) 111.93 284.28
800 LOAD VARIABLE 445.71 2.62
TOTAL 3005.83 9624.08
FULL LOAD WEIGHT 2610.60 5.12
TOTAL AVAILABLE VOLUME = 9823.33 CU METERS -----------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------ MARGINS


6. OUTFIT 0.05 0.05
7. ARMAMENT 0.10 0.10

Fig. 25 The baseline solution: areas, volumes and weights

A Machinery System Selection • Range - at endurance
DSP speed
As an extension of this approach for • Operational profile
choosing a propulsion system, a DSP • Total hours-at-sea per year
template for machinery arrangement • Required reliability (as
selection could be created and included in percentage availability)
the total Preliminary Ship Synthesis Ship Parameters
model. This DSP may be stated as • Principal dimensions
follows: • Propulsion factors
• Propulsor specification
Given • Volume of machinery spaces
Naval Operational Requirements • Electrical loads
• Speed - maximum Possible Alternatives
sustained • Machinery arrangements
- endurance - CODOG (1xGT,2xDE or
- minimum 2xGT,2xDE)
sustained - CODAD (4xDE)

- COGAG (2xGT or 4xGT) While the hull synthesis and the
• Preferred power plants machinery selection templates presented
- GE LM2500 herein are independent in themselves it is
- RR SPEY SM1A clear that they are dependent subsystems
- Stork Werkspoor 8SW280 of a ship system. The attribute ratings
- Stork Werkspoor 12SW280 for the machinery selection are influenced
- Stork Werkspoor 16SW280 by the geometric system variables of the
- MTU 12 V1163 TB83 ship's length, beam, depth, etc.
- MTU 16 V1163 TB93 Similarly, the values of the frigate
Find template goals are dependent upon the
The most appropriate machinery machinery selected. This form of
arrangement, and the optimal power interdependency and hierarchy of
plants. decisions is typical of real-world design
problems and has been addressed in [50].
Satisfy The DSPs highlighted in this section
The following system constraints: represent small elements in the overall
Performance design process but they are significantly
• The range is equal to or greater complex and non-trivial to develop. It is
than the required range estimated that the frigate template
• The main propulsion engines including the required library modules
power is equal to or greater took six man months to develop. The
than the power required to achieve complexity of these elemental templates,
maximum sustained speed the number that are needed to effect a
• The cruise propulsion engines “total” design of a ship, and their
power is equal to or greater than interconnectivity gives rise to problems
the power required to achieve associated with information management
maximum endurance speed that could easily overwhelm a designer
• The minimum continuous who is attempting to use them. Hence,
power is equal to or less than some sort of computer-based guidance is
the power required to achieve warranted.
minimum sustained speed
• The volume of the machinery Design Guidance in a
spaces is equal to or greater than Decision-Based, Design
the required volume for the
machinery Environment
• the percentage availability is Given that concurrent engineering
equal to or greater than the required design for the life cycle can and should
percentage availability be implemented using a method that is
The following system goals: rooted in Decision-Based Design, what is
• The capital cost is equal to or needed to bring this about ? As we have
smaller than the target value already indicated we believe that firstly, a
• The machinery weight is equal design philosophy and secondly, design
to or smaller than the target value tools for implementation, are needed. In
• The volume of machinery keeping with the Decision-Based Design
spaces is equal to or smaller philosophy, a proposed utility to increase
than the target value a designer’s efficiency and effectiveness
• The range is equal to or greater has been identified as the Design
than the target value Guidance System (DGS). A more
• The reliability is equal to or detailed explanation of the Design
greater than the target value Guidance System is given in [59] and in
the following we provide only an
Minimize overview.
• The deviation function.
A Camera and a Design System:
An Analogy

Visualize a camera and assume that

this camera symbolizes the computer-
based design system we wish to create.
Why a camera? A camera is used by a Real World Solution Design System Computer-Based Solution
human to capture an image (picture) of an (Ideal) (Capturing a Solution) (An Image)
object in the real world. Similarly, a
computer-based design system is to be
used by a human designer to create a Fig. 27 An analogy between a
representation of a real world engineering camera and a design system
system; ideally one that can be
manufactured and maintained. Both the
camera and the design system are
inanimate; both depend on human Newer cameras included light meters and
direction to realize an image of a system a means to judge whether the camera was
in the real world. The quality of a picture focussed was embedded in the view
taken with any camera is ultimately finder. The photographer used these aids
dependent on the person taking the to set the aperture and timing and was
photograph; so too the design from the still required to focus the camera. As we
computer-based design system. The all know, a photographer can always
quality of the camera affects the quality of ignore the aids and operate the camera
the picture; so too the quality of the manually. In some cases there is no
computer-based design system the other way. Anybody who has taken
design. Light (knowledge and pictures at night (e.g., the moon, a city’s
information) reflected from the real world skyline) knows that the semi-automatic
passes through the camera lens and features are useless and a switch to
strikes the film thereby imprinting an manual mode is imperative for obtaining
image -- which is usually slightly any semblance of a good picture.
distorted and fuzzy. The analogy is Nowadays, cameras that have the
shown in Fig. 27. What can we do to capability to focus automatically and
create a better image/computer-based adjust timing and diaphragm, are not only
solution? Two actions can be taken, available, but are relatively inexpensive.
namely, The control unit of this camera is attuned
• improve the equipment, and to the environment and is endowed with
• improve the interactions between the some intelligence. This intelligence is
human and the equipment. used to take information from the
Both the camera and design systems have environment, process it, adjust the
improved significantly over time; just controls, and advise a photographer that
compare the first cameras and computer- the camera is ready to take a picture. We
aided design systems with those that are view the HOSDES system as a semi-
available today. Both cameras and automatic camera with DSIDES
computers continue to be improved so let providing support for human decision
us focus on the second action. making and the DGS as the control unit
A photographer using one of the that helps a designer use HOSDES as
earlier cameras had to do everything efficiently and effectively as possible.
based on experience and insight. He/she And what about the DSPT Workbook?
would look at the sky, judge the amount Well, the DSPT Workbook is akin to the
of light, judge the distance and adjust camera body; a body to which various
the diaphragm and focus accordingly. lenses can be attached. The camera body
will surround the intelligent control unit

(DGS) and the means for decision DEPLOYMENT
SYSTEM (A Team Effort)
support (DSIDES). Changing the lens of
the camera from, say, a wide angle lens ACQUISITION
to a telephoto lens is akin to focussing on DESIGNER
different domains. In this analogy, the EXPERIMENT
camera body represents the domain- BASE .
independent information, whereas the GENERAL 5
lens contains the domain-dependent DESIGN EXPERT
information. However, there is a SHIP MODEL &
tradeoff. The lens must be suitable to fit EXPERIMENT
to the body. In other words, the domain- 2
dependent information (lens) must be in a ADVICE
form suitable to be handled by the MANUFACTURE
domain-independent information (camera
body). This is a restriction but it is not KEY
without advantage. 1 New Design
2 Design and Manufacture Information
3 Model
On Designing a Design Guidance 4 Model and Statistical Information
System 5 New Prediction Formula
6 Hydrodynamic Information and Design
Let us start with an example from the
real world of ship design in order to Fig. 28 An example of a DGS in
provide a conceptual exposition of the a ship design/research environment
tasks of a DGS in the future. Suppose
the conceptual design of a ship has been
completed and the design has progressed In the near future, the efficiency and
to the Preliminary Design event as shown effectiveness of a designer can be
in Fig. 18. Consider the following enhanced by increasing the speed with
scenario (see Fig. 28). A design team which the design iteration is
has retrieved the basic concept, created accomplished, and by reducing of the
and solved the DSP for Preliminary number of iterations. An increment in
Synthesis (see Fig. 19). Next, to iteration speed can be achieved if at least
validate the design a model of the ship is some parts of a design process are
built and tested in a towing tank. Over a known and can be modelled. A means
period of time, several experimental for modeling processes, namely, the
“runs” are made with this model in the basic entities and the DSPT Palette were
towing tank and the results are used to introduced earlier in this paper. By
evaluate the design. The experimental creating a model of a process of design
results are fed back to the design team and implementing it on a computer we
who detect a difference between the obtain a structure we can use to determine
predicted and observed resistance. Thus what advice, if any, the DGS can provide
the prediction formula must be improved a designer. As with any other model we
by an expert hydrodynamicist. Then the would like to be able to analyze it, debug
design team must update its preliminary it, find redundancies, inconsistencies and
synthesis model and re-solve it. store it for future reference or usage.
Also we would like to be able to detect
(sub)processes which are independent of
each other and could therefore be solved
concurrently, thus saving time. The
basic notion is that as long as a model of
the process to be used for designing can
be obtained and analyzed, computer

based tools can be developed to improve • Let a designer specify a model of
it. Given the preceding, two fundamental his/her design process explicitly (by
questions need to be answered: entering it directly) and/or implicitly
• How can a computer-based model of (by allowing a computer to monitor
a design process be obtained? the design activity).
• How can the various types of • Classify all information into certain
information involved in a design basic entities (e.g., phases, events,
process be represented and decisions, tasks, systems, goals)
manipulated? and consider all information as
One possibility is that a designer will relationships with an input and an
explicitly enter a model of his/her design output. Use the entities to build
plan (akin to creating a macro on a networks which model design
computer) and then follow it. In this case processes and are represented in a
the plan will be used in a manner similar form suitable for manipulation.
to a prescriptive model of the design
process. On the other hand, suppose a This approach will allow us to obtain
designer wants to reach an objective for computer-based descriptive models of a
which no process model is stored in the design process. These descriptive
computer. In this case, a designer would models can be manipulated and
examine the available models (look at subsequently improved in a computer
available macros in the macro library), environment to form the basis of
experiment with some of them (try some prescriptive models (which could be
of the macros) and then create a process offered as advice) for a designer in a new
that is a composite of the ones that have situation. The manipulation for
been stored with perhaps some additional improvement could be done by a
information. In both cases, the DGS, designer, by a designer in collaboration
will be called on to assist a designer in with the DGS or autonomously by the
accessing information, albeit of different DGS itself. The development of this
types. Can we always depend on a capability to analyze and improve the
designer to provide an explicit model of design process, we believe, will
the design process for implementation on contribute to increases in the efficiency
a computer? The answer is no. It is and effectiveness of a designer using a
possible for a designer to have a mental computer-based design system. Further
construct of a plan of action but not in a information about the desirable
form that can be entered into a computer characteristics of a DGS is given in [59].
explicitly. In this case, we would resort
to monitoring the actions of a human
designer (with permission of course) to Closure
obtain a descriptive model of the process
just completed. In summary, the essence We believe that there is a spring-like
of our approach is as follows: sense of change in the air as an increasing
number of scientists and technologists
come to appreciate the inadequacies of the
single-cause-single-effect paradigm that
is based in Newtonian science. This
appreciation itself reflects an insight
induced by systems thinking. This is not
to say that the single-cause-single-effect
paradigm inherent in traditional science,
and in traditional approaches to design, is
to be supplanted soon by a new
paradigm. Rather, systems thinking

serves to emphasize the wide-ranging and “Every man takes the limits of his own
complex interdependencies inherent in vision for the limits of the world.”
any design problem and to highlight the
ever more apparent inadequacy of the In a sense, we are asking our readers to
traditional, sequential design methods. take the new paradigm explicated here,
For decades ships have been within the limits of our vision of the
designed using the well-known “basis world of design, into the limits of theirs.
ship approach” together with the equally
well-known Evans-Buxton-Andrews
spiral. The two principal limitations of Acknowledgements
the spiral are that the process of design is
assumed to be sequential and the Over the years support for the
opportunity to include life cycle development of the Decision Support
considerations is limited. In this paper, Problem Technique has come from many
we propose a paradigm shift; to sources. We gratefully acknowledge the
Decision-Based Design, a paradigm that following people and organizations.
encompasses systems thinking and Brian Robson of the Department of
embodies the concept of concurrent Defence (Navy), Canberra, Australia, in
engineering design for the life cycle. In 1983 initiated the work reported in this
proposing this shift, we recognize the paper with a grant (for developing
need to be sensitive, especially in the AUSEVAL: A Ship Evaluation System)
transition period, to the comfortable and he has been responsible for sending
mindset offered by traditional approaches two of his naval architects, Tim D. Lyon
to design, such as the ship design spiral, and Warren Smith to work at the
and the anxiety associated with a new University of Houston. Peter van
paradigm, namely, Decision-Based Oossanen and Bert Koops of MARIN,
Design. According to Kuhn [92], a new Wageningen, Holland, in 1988 joined the
paradigm, such as is offered here, does Canberra-Houston team by funding our
not evolve through a cumulative work and sending Bert Bras to work with
extension of an old one. Instead, there is us in Houston. In the early 80's, John
a reconstruction of the field, in this case Fontenot, through the NL Foundation,
design, using the contemporary made several grants to support the
perspectives of concurrency of decision development of the Decision Support
making in the context of systems thinking Problem Technique. In 1985, Jaric
and designing for the life cycle. Kuhn Sobieszczanski-Sobieski supported the
intimates that changes are made to the development of the DSP Technique with
field's most elementary theoretical a contract from NASA Langley. Since
considerations as well as to many of its 1987, David C. Bonner, through the
applications and methods that were B.F. Goodrich R&D Center, Brecksville,
rooted in the traditional paradigm, in this Ohio, has contributed to our laboratory
case, the design spiral. The changes, and the development of the DSP
brought about by a paradigm shift, are Technique. In 1989, Steven LeClair
not cumulative but small-scale, step-like supported our work with a SBIR Phase I
revolutionary transformations. They contract. Geoff Uttmark of TransTech
replace an old paradigm, in whole or in Marine Co., New York, has also
part, with a new one, in this case, supported us with a financial contribution
Decision-Based Design. The new and encouragement. Finally, the cost of
paradigm may not destroy previous computer time has been underwritten by
knowledge or conflict with its the University of Houston.
predecessors. However, it provides a Over the years many people have
new cognitive mapping, a new vision of contributed to work reported in this
the world. In the early nineteenth paper. We gratefully acknowledge them.
century, Schopenhauer [93] noted that Jon A. Shupe coined the phrase

Decision-Based Design and developed 6. Cross, N., Engineering Design
this notion further in his Ph.D. Methods, John Wiley & Sons,
dissertation. Tim D. Lyon, Roger Chichester, 1989.
Ramsey and Kim Williams of the 7. De Boer, S. J., Decision Methods
Department of Defence (Navy) Canberra, and Techniques in Methodical
Australia, contributed to the development Engineering Design, Academisch Boeken
of AUSEVAL and the frigate template. Centrum, De Lier, The Netherlands,
Eduardo Bascaran, Saiyid Kamal, 1989.
Harshavardhan Karandikar, Nagesh 8. Finger, S. and Dixon, J. R., "A
Kuppuraju and Q-J Zhou have Review of Research in Mechanical
contributed in developing the decision Engineering Design. Part 1: Descriptive,
constructs that we have reported. Lori Prescriptive, and Computer-Based
Smith is thanked for donating her time Models of Design Processes," Research
and helping us with the graphics. A in Engineering Design, Vol. 1, 1989, pp.
thankyou is also extended to David 51-67.
Andrews, Frank G. Bartlett, Ian L. 9. Finger, S. and Dixon, J. R., "A
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MacCallum, Michael J. Parsons and Jon Engineering Design. Part 2:
A. Shupe for their specific comments that Representations, Analysis, and Design
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