A New Heuristic Method for Improved Structuring of the Work Transformation Matrix (WTM)

Document Type : Article


1 Aerospace Department, faculty of new sciences and technologies, university of tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Aerospace group, Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies (FNST), University of Tehran, North Kargar Street, Tehran, Iran.

3 Aerospace Department, Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The design structure matrix (DSM) is a potent tool in the management of product design processes. Although the compactness and ability to represent design cycles are the main advantages of DSMs over existing traditional tools, the intact whole DSM is not always an understandable piece of information. To overcome this shortcoming, certain analyses have been proposed for a better understanding of the matrix in which partitioning and tearing have significant importance. There are several algorithms for these two analyses that mainly focus on a few rules of thumb. Although partitioning and tearing were originally developed for binary DSMs, they can be extended to numerical variants in which the work transformation matrix (WTM) is of the highest fame and application. In this paper, the authors have proposed an algorithm inspired by the formation of sugar crystals in saturated syrup for reordering the activities in a coupled block of activities (CBAs) based on their level of coupling. To implement this approach, a code was developed to achieve pseudo-optimum solutions. By using a discrete-time simulation, which was applied to an aerospace case study, it was demonstrated that the method produces restructured schemes of the WTM that are comparable/superior to the classical methods.


Main Subjects

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