Towards non-hierarchical system descriptions for automating functional analysis

Amrin Andas, Spitas Christos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The case is made that current functional representation methods for engineering systems and in particular Function-Behaviour-State models rely on defining hierarchies of states, behaviours and functions that in turn rely for a large part on subjective designer input. With the goal of automating the functional description and analysis of such systems, basic concepts of an Idea Algebra are introduced, which allow the peer-to-peer non-hierarchical functional coupling of Ideas such as components and interfaces into so-called Synaptic Networks and the objective definition of system functions and subfunctions in terms of the states of the basic Ideas forming said networks. By offering a robust mathematical definition for system topology and functionality and dispensing with several subjective steps required by current methods, the presented framework opens significant possibilities for automating functional analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
Issue numberDS87-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017
Event21st International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2017 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Aug 21 2017Aug 25 2017


  • Design methodology
  • Functional modelling
  • Product modelling/models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation


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