Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Saluseri, Fillippo A.,


Engineering, Industrial.




Although the ultimate goal of engineering design is to present a physical form (components and their relationships) of a certain product, function modeling is regarded as the initial and determining stage in the entire design process. While a variety of research efforts have studied and continue to study the role of function modeling in design, the concepts and representations of function among researchers are quite different. This makes it very difficult to utilize research achievements in developing an integrated knowledge-based system (e.g. the AIM-D system established in [1]) that can be used universally throughout an arbitrary engineering design process. In this thesis, a new function model called Interaction-based Function Model (IFM) which is based on the basic interactions between mass, energy, and information is presented. A small set of primitive function types which could represent most (perhaps all) product functions is deduced from this model. The author believes that IFM can provide a widely accepted function-modeling platform that could integrate the current research achievements in this area. Furthermore, by applying IFM to knowledge aided design systems (e.g. ACM system establish by Salustri in [2]), it can be used to shorten the lead-time of product development, motivate creative design, and organize design information system. An example of implementing IFM to facilitate the conceptual design process is presented. The results demonstrate that this methodology can be used as a design guide to help designers identify key issues in the early design stage without blocking the creativeness of the designers.Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2000 .Y34. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 40-03, page: 0766. Adviser: Fillippo A. Saluseri. Thesis (M.A.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2001.