A constrained evolutionary search formalism for remote design with modules

Wen-Yau Liang, Peter O’grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The potential benefits of modular design over conventional design include economies of scale, increased feasibility of product/component change, increased product variety, and reduced order lead-time. The benefits of modular design have not gone unnoticed, and it is becoming evident that companies are increasingly seeking to use this modular approach. Important research issues in the area of design with modules center around the central theme of selecting modules to satisfy customer requirements. However, while modular product design would appear to be an attractive proposition, little work has been done on these research issues, particularly for the relatively common design environment where modules may be available from one or more geographically dispersed sources, and where data concerning the modules may be in a multitude of databases scattered across the globe. Under these circumstances, it becomes necessary to search through the databases using a network, such as the Internet, for feasible subsets of the set of candidate modules. Such a search can be difficult due to the heavily constrained environment that encompasses much design activity. This paper addresses these issues by proposing a design with modules algebra and new constrained crossover and constrained mutation operators that aim to permit an evolutionary approach to operate effectively in such an environment, and thus to produce a population of feasible designs that aim to maximize (or minimize) a given objective function. The implementation of this approach is described with an example of personal computer design, where the designer is remote from the databases and communication is carried out over the Internet. Some results on the convergence of the approach are shown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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