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 System Design and Analysis based on AD and Complex  posted by  member7_php   on 2/17/2009  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Suh, Nam, and Taesik Lee, 2.882 System Design and Analysis based on AD and Complexity Theories, Spring 2005. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 07 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

System Design and Analysis based on AD and Complexity Theories

Spring 2005

The Space Shuttle is an example of a highly complex system with many functional requirements. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)

Course Highlights

This course features lecture slides and suggested problems from the course textbooks as study materials.

Course Description

This course studies what makes a good design and how one develops a good design. Students consider how the design of engineered systems (such as hardware, software, materials, and manufacturing systems) differ from the "design" of natural systems such as biological systems; discuss complexity and how one makes use of complexity theory to improve design; and discover how one uses axiomatic design theory (AD theory) in design of many different kinds of engineered systems. Questions are analyzed using Axiomatic Design Theory and Complexity Theory. Case studies are presented including the design of machines, tribological systems, materials, manufacturing systems, and recent inventions. Implications of AD and complexity theories on biological systems discussed.


Course Goals

  • Ability to design using basic principles of design
  • Invention of products based on basic principles
  • Various ways of achieving robust design
  • Ability to design complex systems, including software and hardware
  • Understanding complexity of systems
  • Reduction of complexity of engineered systems
  • Teaching using many examples and case studies from diverse fields
  • Learning by working on real projects (Term projects)


2.004, 2.006


Suh, N. P. Axiomatic Design: Advances and Applications. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780195134667.

———. Complexity: Theory and Applications. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780195178760.


Activities percentages
Two One-hour Examinations 25%
Homework 25%
Term Project 50%



NPS = Prof. Nam P. Suh
TL = Dr. Taesik Lee

Lec # Topics Instructors
1-3 Introduction to Axiomatic Design NPS
4 Information Content and Robustness TL
5 Information Content (cont.)
Project Discussion
6-7 Multi-FR Design NPS
8-9 Information Content (cont.) TL
10 Exam 1  
11-12 Design of Systems NPS
13 Guest Lecture Dr. Sunghee Do
14 Design of Manufacturing Systems TL
15 Axiomatic Design of Manufacturing Systems
Case Study - Complex System Design (NASA / Project)
16 Complexity I
Project Discussion
17-18 Complexity II NPS
19 Complexity Review TL
20 Reduction of Complexity with Geometric Functional Periodicity NPS
21 Reduction of Complexity in Materials through Functional Periodicity
Visit to Tribotek, Inc.
22 Complexity of Socio-Economic Political Systems: Application of Functional Periodicity NPS
23 Cost Engineering in Axiomatic Design TL
24 Exam 2  
25 Project Presentations   Tell A Friend