Topological structures for modeling engineering design processes

Dan Braha, Yoram Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


In this paper, a mathematical framework for describing a variety of complex and practical design processes is developed. We demonstrate that our model has the desirable quality of representing several, seemingly distinct, approaches as instances of the same framework. In addition, General Design Theory is shown to be a special case of the proposed framework. Using simple examples throughout the paper, we also hint at the potential for the framework to serve as a basis for a descriptive study of design. Various design phenomena such as design failure, identification of design knowledge bottlenecks, and benefits of collaborative design could be understood using the proposed model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
JournalResearch in Engineering Design - Theory, Applications, and Concurrent Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • Design analysis and synthesis
  • Design methodologies
  • Design process
  • Formal Design Theory (FDT)
  • General topology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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