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Systems 2018, 6(4), 45;

Early Design Space Exploration with Model-Based System Engineering and Set-Based Design

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Model-Based Systems Engineering)
PDF [4987 KB, uploaded 17 December 2018]


Adequately exploring the tradespace in the early system design phase is important to determine the best design concepts to pursue in the next life cycle stage. Tradespace exploration (TSE) often uses trade-off analysis. Set-based design (SBD) methods, compared to traditional point-based design, explore significantly more designs. An integrated framework with model-based system engineering (MBSE) and a life cycle cost model enables design evaluation in near real-time. This study proposes an early design phase SBD methodology and demonstrates how SBD enabled by an integrated framework with MBSE and life cycle cost provides an enhanced TSE that can inform system design requirements and help decision makers select high performing designs at an affordable cost. Specifically, this paper (1) provides an overview of TSE and SBD, (2) describes the Integrated Trade-off Analysis Framework, (3) describes a methodology to implement SBD in the early design phase, and (4) demonstrates the techniques using an unmanned aerial vehicle case study. We found that the Integrated Trade-off Analysis Framework informs requirement development based upon how the requirements affect the feasible tradespace. Additionally, the integrated framework that uses SBD better explores the design space compared to traditional methods by finding a larger set of feasible designs early in the design process. View Full-Text
Keywords: tradespace exploration; trade-off analysis; decision analysis; set-based design tradespace exploration; trade-off analysis; decision analysis; set-based design

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Specking, E.; Parnell, G.; Pohl, E.; Buchanan, R. Early Design Space Exploration with Model-Based System Engineering and Set-Based Design. Systems 2018, 6, 45.

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