Date of Original Version



Technical Report

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Abstract: "During the design process, a designer transforms an abstract functional description for a device into a physical description that satisfies the functional requirements. In this sense, design is a transformation from the functional domain to the physical domain; however, this transformation process is not well characterized nor understood for mechanical systems. The difficulty arises, at least in part, because mechanical designs are often composed of highly-integrated, tightly-coupled components where the interactions among the components are essential to the behavior and economic execution of the design. Each component may contribute to several required behaviors, and a single required system behavior may involve many components. In fact, most mechanical components perform not only the desired behavior, but also many additional, unintended behaviors. In good mechanical designs, these additional behaviors often are exploited.The long term goal of our research is to create a transformational strategy in which the design specifications for a mechanical system can be transformed into a description of a collection of mechanical components. To realize this goal requires formal representations for the behavioral and the physical specifications of mechanical systems as well as formal representations for the behaviors and the physical characteristics of mechanical components. Because the interactions of components are important in our synthesis strategy, the representation of the behaviors of mechanical components must be linked to the representation of their physical characteristics; that is, we are concerned with modeling the relationship between form and function of components.Finally, we need a strategy that enables us to transform an abstract description of the desired behavior of a device into a description that corresponds to a collection of available physical components. We present a graph-based language to describe both the behavioral specifications of a design as well as the behavior of the available physical components. We also demonstrate how the specification graph may be transformed so as to correspond to collections of available components."