Methods for evaluating the strength of design dependencies in a product architecture have been widely studied in the literature; however, evaluating the effects of direct and indirect interactions between components/modules remains a challenge. In fact, indirect connections between components/modules are often overlooked in many cases when evaluating design dependencies. Having a more consistent way of defining a product architecture that considers both its direct and indirect connections is important, especially when analyzing redesign complexity and change propagation. In this study, we propose a systematic method to evaluate direct and indirect design dependencies between components in product architectures. Interfaces are classified into six different types based on a thorough review of the literature, and a method for evaluating design dependencies is introduced to estimate the relative importance of interfaces directly from a set of comparable products. Using an electrical circuit analogy, the proposed method can quantify both direct and indirect design dependencies between components within a product architecture. We compare design dependency results for different wireless computer mice to validate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The results show that using the proposed design dependency measure including direct and indirect effects provides more reliable design dependency results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering