Recommendation. Decision-making tools and decision theory should be included in a required undergraduate design course. Interdisciplinary capstone courses that include legal, social, and economic issues, as well as team building skills, can be particularly useful teaching tools and should be included in this undertaking.

Table ES–1 compares and contrasts the various decision-making tools examined in this report. The summary in Chapter 4 provides an explanation of the details presented here.

Table ES–1 Summary of Tools and Applications Examined

 

Primary Basis

Ratingsa—Potential Value for:

 

Knowledge Engineering

Logic/Set Theory

Matrix Algebra

Probability

Statistics

Economics

Current Utilization

Concept Creation

Concept Development

Selection Among Alternative Concepts

Ease of Use

Practical

Concurrent Engineering

 

X

4

2

4

4

1

Qualitative

Decision Matrix

 

X

 

X

4

1

2

4

5

 

Pugh Method

 

X

 

3

4

5

1

2

 

QFD

 

X

 

2

2

4

2

1

 

AHP

 

X

 

3

1

2

4

 

 

Product Plan Advisor

X

 

X

X

 

3

2

3

4

3

Statistical

PLS

 

X

X

 

1

3

3

2

1

 

Taguchi Method

 

X

X

 

4

1

4

4

2

 

Six Sigma

 

X

X

 

3

3

3

3

2

Creative

AI Support

X

 

2

4

2

2

2

 

TRIZ

X

 

3

3

1

1

3

Axiomatic

Suh’s Theory

 

X

X

 

2

2

3

5

1

 

Yoshikawa Theory

 

X

 

1

1

1

1

1

 

Math Framework

 

X

 

X

X

X

1

1

1

5

3

Validating

Game Theory

 

X

 

X

1

1

1

3

2

 

Decision Analysis

 

X

 

X

 

X

3

1

4

5

3

aRating by several members of the committee: 1=low; 5=high.

Decision-making tools can be useful design aids when appropriately applied. However, because the knowledge embodied in a designer or design team to synthesize and create is uniquely human, design cannot ever be totally automated. Decision tools and many other methods can aid the design process by organizing knowledge and providing systematic frameworks to enable the designer to generate new options and make intelligent choices to realize a product. The design community can make progress only when engineering design decision’s are understood from the perspective of stakeholders in manufacturing enterprises and society. Time, effort, and resources must be invested



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