Chapter 12Exploring the Design Space

Clifford Whitcomb and Paul Beery

Systems Engineering Department, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, USA


Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

(Steve Jobs)

12.1 Introduction

This chapter presents three examples for application of the design of experiments (DOEs) method to systems design. There are two examples from industry: a liftboat example from the offshore oil industry and a cruise ship design. The liftboat uses a fractional factorial design, while the cruise ship uses a Taguchi design. These designs are useful in very early design stages due to the minimal number of points needed. They are useful when information or data is limited or when design synthesis tools are not readily available to develop sets of design variants for complicated systems. Taguchi designs make it possible to explicitly examine “noise” while not including those factors in the design (thereby increasing the number of runs required). Taguchi designs are also resolution III and have interaction effects confounded with main effects, which limit the utility of the results. The third example is for a design of a NATO naval surface combatant ship. This NATO ship example uses a Box–Behnken design. Ship design synthesis tools for naval combatant ships are readily accessible by naval architects, so the design points needed for the DOE method are more readily created. This allows for the use of DOEs that typically require more ...

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