Meta-Design. An Approach to the Development of Design Methodologies
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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The goal of the Unified Life Cycle Engineering ULCE Program is to develop enhanced design environments that will allow supportability and producibility to be considered early in the design process along with the usual factors of cost, performance, and schedule. However, before such environments can be developed, a master plan or architecture for such environments must be in place. Moreover, such an architecture must be derived from the specific activities and information requirements of the design process. Thus, prior to accomplishing the ULCE program goals, a design process which addresses early consideration of producibility and supportability must be developed. Such a process must include a methodology for making design decisions and for negotiating changes in design requirements when these requirements conflict. To date, while much research has been conducted on issues related to computer integration as it applies to development of ULCE, little or no research has been done on the more fundamental question of development of ULCE design methodologies. This paper addresses a number of critical issues related to design methodology development which is termed meta-design since it involves designing a design methodology, provides several key analytical results useful in assessing design methodologies in terms of their suitability for accomplishing ULCE, and identifies several new research directions that should be pursued if the ULCE goals are to be achieved.
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