Specifying Process Activities for Multi-Domain Matrix Analysis Using a Structured Textual Format

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Knippenberg, S.C.M.; Etman, L.F.P.; Wilschut, T.; van de Mortel-Fronczak, J.A.
Series: ICED
Institution: Eindhoven University of Technology
Section: Design methods and tools
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/dsi.2019.167
ISSN: 2220-4342


This paper proposes a method to automatically generate a multi-domain matrix (MDM) from textual activity specifications. The format for specifying these activities is based on a structured grammar derived from natural language and consists of two types of activities: goal activities and transformation activities. A goal activity describes the purpose of an action performed by an actor for the benefit of another actor in the system. A transformation activity describes an activity from the viewpoint of a single actor, who receives, generates, and outputs information or artifacts. If one describes activities using these two types of activity specifications, dependencies can be automatically derived between actors, activities, and parameters of the system and visualized in an MDM. Thus the generated MDM presents an organization DSM (actors), a process DSM (activities), and a parameter DSM (flows of information or objects), as well as the mapping matrices coupling the different domains. An illustrative house construction example demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed activity specification format. The method may provide an outcome in understanding and managing complex systems.

Keywords: Design methodology, Design structure matrix, Multi-domain matrix, Process modelling, Systems Engineering (SE)


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