Proceedings of the 8th
International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
(August 1996), ASME.
Engineering projects often undergo several design
iterations before being completed. Information received from other
groups working on a project (analysis, manufacturing, marketing,
sales) will often necessitate changes in a design. The interaction
between different groups associated with a design project often takes
the form of informal ``negotiation.'' Negotiation can ensue when
target specifications are difficult to achieve, when there are
trade-offs to be made between different facets of performance, or when
conflicts arise between two engineering groups, such as design and
form of interaction commonly arises when engineering information is
imprecise or difficult to quantify.
While other researchers have addressed issues of negotiation in the
design process, this prior work has not explicitly addressed the
imprecision inherent in the design process.
The Method of Imprecision is a formal method for the
representation and manipulation of preliminary and imprecise design
information, which has been used as a decision support tool for
engineering design. The can provide a mechanism for the
these informal negotiations.