Tracing paths and connecting multiple design domains: An information visualisation approach to product architecture modelling

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

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Idrissov, Agzam; Parraguez, Pedro; Maier, Anja M.
Series: ICED
Institution: DTU - Technical University of Denmark
Section: Product Architecture and Modularization
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Visual representation of product architecture models is crucial in complex engineering systems design. However, when the number of entities in a model is large and when multiple levels of hierarchies are included, visual representations currently in use need to be more intuitive. As such, improved visual representations that enable better system overview and better communication of essential product-related information among design participants are needed. This paper uses interactive information visualisation techniques ? collapsible hierarchical tree, edge bundling and alluvial diagram ? and provides the foundations of a computerised tool that improves the traceability of connections between design domains, including stakeholders, requirements, functions, behaviours and structure. The case of a cleaning robot is used as an illustrative example. The approach supports designers by providing an enhanced overview during the development of complex product architecture models, in particular in the communication with external stakeholders, in the identification of change propagation paths across several design domains, and in capturing the design rationale of previous design decisions.

Keywords: Visualisation, Product architecture, Product modelling / models, Large-scale engineering systems, Requirements


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