Project Details


This grant provides funding to investigate a new paradigm for trade space exploration during complex systems design that utilizes multidimensional visualization and designer-oriented computational steering techniques. The research will formalize the novel idea of trade space attractors, which designers implicitly use when searching for good designs. Strategies for implementing attractors in a graphical design interface will be developed, and the proposed methods will be tested on complex system design problems using land, sea, air, and space applications developed in conjunction with several industrial partners. The research will be conducted by a multidisciplinary team at the Pennsylvania State University that includes faculty from Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Industrial Engineering and researchers at the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State. Industrial partnerships have been established with General Motors, General Electric, and Aerospace Corporation to develop case studies for the research, and with Phoenix Integration, who will test a beta-version of software developments in a commercial environment. The results of this research will advance methods for complex systems design by taking advantage of recent advances in computing power and speed. The research will make significant contributions to the field of engineering design and multi-objective decision-making by developing new trade space search strategies that bridge the gap between current techniques for semi-automated optimization and ad hoc design space exploration. Technology transfer will occur with our industrial partners and through software testing in a commercial setting. The research will identify new training procedures for educating designers about multi-dimensional visualization and trade space exploration, and case studies will be disseminated over the Internet to the community. Finally, REU Supplements will be requested to engage undergraduates in the research and participation in two diversity-enhancing summer research programs at Penn State will broaden the participation of under-represented groups in the research.

Effective start/end date8/15/067/31/10


  • National Science Foundation: $461,371.00
  • National Science Foundation: $461,371.00


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