An expert system based advisor for the quality function deployment method

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Virginia Tech

A structured and disciplined Systems Engineering process is essential for the effective and efficient design and development of products and systems which are both responsive to customer needs and competitive in the global economy. The emphasis of this research is on the conceptual design phase of the Systems Engineering process.

Conceptual system design is characterized by imprecision and vagueness. Designers make significant commitments to system-level design requirements and the system design concept in the face of this vagueness. Accordingly, the primary goal of this research is to develop an aid to facilitate the definition of system-level design requirements.

During conceptual design, needs analysis and requirements definition is facilitated by the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) method. Quality Function Deployment is a design methodology chosen as the central focus of this research effort.

Consistency within the QFD procedure must be maintained in order to accurately translate customer specified requirements into design requirements. This research, leading to the development of an expert system based advisor for system designers, is unique. A rule-based expert system was implemented to parse a completed QFD matrix and to identify occurrences of inconsistencies and strategic opportunities.

conceptual design, QFD, quality function deployment