Decision Environments for Complex Designs

General Information

· The future role of human decision making in product development?

· The shape, size and structure of the future design organization?

· How can global priorities be identified and deployed?

· What management reporting and metrics are relevant?

· Trust; how can decision makers understand the provenance and reliability of computational analysis and knowledge?

· Uncertainty; how best to present the effect of and efficiently compute stochastic input values?

· How is the emerging design space best displayed and monitored?

Research Questions Being Addressed

Phone: +44(0)2380 592944

E-mail: decode


Modern design organizations are fundamentally information-processing structures. The efficiency of this information processing function depends upon organisational sophistication, embracing not just people but tools, processes, knowledge and data. DECODE addresses the design and integration of complex systems such where the problems of cost overruns, delays and performance shortfalls are particularly acute. The current value of an aerospace prime contract is now typically measured in £ Billions, yet surprisingly, many companies still use relatively traditional, ad-hoc and organic processes and design tools within their programmes.

The research to be undertaken under DECODE will investigate design decision making tools that provide holistic optimisation at a system level to maximise satisfaction of all the stakeholders associated with the system. Uniquely DECODE will provide active design exploration of systems level trade-offs between performance, unit cost and system life-cycle costs based on a “design mission control capability” .

To do this an innovative design decision support environment that focuses on Value metrics is being built. This will allow a Value-Driven “mission control capability” for design decision making to be researched. It will integrate early concept design exploration with full resolution, geometry backed design computations and detailed manufacturing and operations models.

Profs Jim Scanlan and Andy Keane

Computational Engineering & Design Group

University of Southampton,

Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK