Incommensurable design descriptions

Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher (2017). Incommensurable design descriptions. In: Creative Design and Advanced Manufacturing: An emerging application area for Signals and Systems, 2 Sep 2017, 2017 25th European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO), Kos, Greece.



Data management is a persistent problem in design and manufacturing. This is because different processes require different descriptions of the same design concept. Descriptions can include geometry and/or topology as well as other non-spatial information, such as design intent, and over the course of a design and manufacturing process it is often necessary to convert between descriptions non-sequentially, to support development and realisation of a design concept. This paper highlights the difficulties that arise in managing different descriptions by exploring what are possibly unrealistically simple examples involving drawings of simple shapes. Although simple, the examples illustrate a fundamental truth; that the information embedded in the structures of different descriptions of a design are often incommensurable, and this can introduce challenges in the management of design data.

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