Extensions to the Design Structure Matrix for the Description of Multidisciplinary Design, Analysis, and Optimization Processes
A. B. Lambe, and J. R. R. A. Martins
Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 46(2):273–284, 2012
While numerous architectures exist for solving multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) problems, there is currently no standard way of describing these architectures. In particular, a standard visual representation of the solution process would be particularly useful as a communication medium among practitioners and those new to the field. This paper presents the extended design structure matrix (XDSM), a new diagram for visualizing MDO processes. The diagram is based on extending the standard design structure matrix (DSM) to simultaneously show data dependency and process flow on a single diagram. Modifications include adding special components to define iterative processes, defining different line styles to show data and process connections independently, and adding a numbering scheme to define the order in which the components are executed. This paper describes the rules for constructing XDSMs along with many examples, including diagrams of several MDO archi-tectures. Finally, this paper discusses potential applications of the XDSM in other areas of MDO and the future development of the diagrams.