An Approach for Selecting Cost Estimation Techniques for Innovative High Value Manufacturing Products

Oliver Schwabe, Essam Shehab, John Erkoyuncu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper presents an approach for determining the most appropriate technique for cost estimation of innovative high value manufacturing products depending on the amount of prior data available. Case study data from the United States Scheduled Annual Summary Reports for the Joint Strike Fighter (1997-2010) is used to exemplify how, depending on the attributes of a priori data certain techniques for cost estimation are more suitable than others. The data attribute focused on is the computational complexity involved in identifying whether or not there are patterns suited for propagation. Computational complexity is calculated based upon established mathematical principles for pattern recognition which argue that at least 42 data sets are required for the application of standard regression analysis techniques. The paper proposes that below this threshold a generic dependency model and starting conditions should be used and iteratively adapted to the context. In the special case of having less than four datasets available it is suggested that no contemporary cost estimating techniques other than analogy or expert opinion are currently applicable and alternate techniques must be explored if more quantitative results are desired. By applying the mathematical principles of complexity groups the paper argues that when less than four consecutive datasets are available the principles of topological data analysis should be applied. The preconditions being that the cost variance of at least three cost variance types for one to three time discrete continuous intervals is available so that it can be quantified based upon its geometrical attributes, visualised as an n-dimensional point cloud and then evaluated based upon the symmetrical properties of the evolving shape. Further work is suggested to validate the provided decision-trees in cost estimation practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event5th CIRP Global Web Conference Research and Innovation for Future Production, 2016 - Patras, Greece
Duration: Oct 4 2016Oct 6 2016


  • Computational complexity
  • Cost estimate uncertainty
  • Method selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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