Encapsulating and represening the knowledge on the evolution of an engineering system
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This paper proposes a cross-disciplinary methodology for a fundamental question in product development: How can the innovation patterns during the evolution of an engineering system (ES) be encapsulated, so that it can later be mined through data analysis methods? Reverse engineering answers the question of which components a developed engineering system consists of, and how the components interact to make the working product. TRIZ answers the question of which problem-solving principles can be, or have been employed in developing that system, in comparison to its earlier versions, or with respect to similar systems. While these two methodologies have been very popular, to the best of our knowledge, there does not yet exist a methodology that reverse-engineers, encapsulates and represents the information regarding the application of TRIZ through the complete product development process. This paper suggests such a methodology, that consists of mathematical formalism, graph visualization, and database representation. The proposed approach is demonstrated by analyzing the design and development process for a prototype wrist-rehabilitation robot and representing the process as a graph that consists of TRIZ principles.