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A Data Approach to Tracking and Evaluating Engineering Changes


Cohen, T.(1997) A Data Approach to Tracking and Evaluating Engineering Changes, Doctoral Thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.


redesign, change managment, change propagation, data model,data representation, information systems


Changes are common during any stage of a product life cycle. There are local changes that do not influence other elements of a product. However, there are other changes that can influence different aspects of the product. Consequences of these changes, unless properly anticipated, and accounted for, can be costly. Therefore, it is highly desirable to obtain a mechanism that will be able to anticipate and evaluate product change consequences.

The first task in anticipating and evaluating change consequences is to represent them. The complexity of engineering models make their representation to be rich and semantic. Information data models like EXPRESS provide tools for modeling products. However, the current EXPRESS and other information models do not have a generic methodology to support contextual change representation and propagation.

In this thesis a methodology called Change FAvorable Representation – C-FAR is presented.. C-FAR uses an existing product information model to facilitate change representation, propagation, and qualitative evaluation. The EXPRESS schema's main elements are entities, relations among entities, and attributes that describe the entities.

C-FAR facilitates change and change evaluation to the attribute level.

C-FAR has been evaluated using case studies in structural analysis, bumper design, printed wiring board technology and injection molding process. Results show that C-FAR is capable of representing change and provides a reasonable qualitative evaluation of the change consequences.


Manuscript: pdf (1493K)