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Complexity Theory in Axiomatic Design

By  and Taesik LeeNam P. Suh and Taesik Lee


During the last couple of decades, the term complexity has been commonly found in use in many fields of science, sometimes as a measurable quantity with a rigorous but narrow definition and other times as merely an ad hoc label. With an emphasis on pragmatic engineering applications, this thesis investigates the complexity concept defined in axiomatic design theory to avoid vague use of the term ’complexity ’ in engineering system design, to provide deeper insight into possible causes of complexity, and to develop a systematic approach to complexity reduction. The complexity concept in axiomatic design theory is defined as a measure of uncertainty in achieving a desired set of functional requirements. In this thesis, it is revisited to refine its definition. Four different types of complexity are identified in axiomatic design complexity theory: time-independent real complexity, timeindependent imaginary complexity, time-dependent combinatorial complexity and time-dependent periodic complexity. Time-independent real complexity is equivalent to the information content, which is a measure of a probability of achieving functional requirements. Time-independent imaginary complexity is defined as th

Year: 2003
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