A network science-based assessment methodology for robust modular system architectures during early conceptual design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article describes a methodology to assess, during the early conceptual design stage, the robustness, and modularity of engineering system architectures, which integrates concepts from network science with engineering systems. The application specifically focuses on the architecture of the power, propulsion, and cooling systems of a naval ship. The methodology incorporates a binary Design Structure Matrix as the basis for an assessment of redundancy and modularity effects on robustness, in response to disruption of modules in the architecture. Robustness is used to drive the module selection, which supports the formulation of a robust module configuration subject to the level of redundancy in the system architecture. The case study results demonstrated: redundancy promotes robustness of the architecture and enables modularity; however, high levels of redundancy in comparison to medium level redundancy does not significantly improve robustness. The novel contribution of this article relates to the combined quantitative assessment of redundancy, modularity and robustness in a collective methodology. This methodology supports conceptual design decision making, allowing early prediction of compliance of requirements that enable cost, development time and survivability targets to be achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Engineering Design
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Oct 2019

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Conceptual design
Redundancy
Systems engineering
Cooling systems
Propulsion
Ships
Decision making
Costs

Keywords

  • robustness
  • modularity
  • redundancy
  • network science
  • system architecture

Cite this

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title = "A network science-based assessment methodology for robust modular system architectures during early conceptual design",
abstract = "This article describes a methodology to assess, during the early conceptual design stage, the robustness, and modularity of engineering system architectures, which integrates concepts from network science with engineering systems. The application specifically focuses on the architecture of the power, propulsion, and cooling systems of a naval ship. The methodology incorporates a binary Design Structure Matrix as the basis for an assessment of redundancy and modularity effects on robustness, in response to disruption of modules in the architecture. Robustness is used to drive the module selection, which supports the formulation of a robust module configuration subject to the level of redundancy in the system architecture. The case study results demonstrated: redundancy promotes robustness of the architecture and enables modularity; however, high levels of redundancy in comparison to medium level redundancy does not significantly improve robustness. The novel contribution of this article relates to the combined quantitative assessment of redundancy, modularity and robustness in a collective methodology. This methodology supports conceptual design decision making, allowing early prediction of compliance of requirements that enable cost, development time and survivability targets to be achieved.",
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