Document Type



Structure adaptability design is critical for function evolution in product families, in which many structural and functional design factors are intertwined together with manufacturing cost, customer satisfaction, and final market sales. How to achieve a delicate balance among all of these factors to maximize the market performance of the product is too complicated to address based on traditional domain experts’ knowledge or some ad hoc heuristics. Here, we propose a quantitative product evolution design model that is based on Bayesian networks to model the dynamic relationship between customer needs and product structure design. In our model, all of the structural or functional features along with customer satisfaction, manufacturing cost, sale price, market sales, and indirect factors are modeled as random variables denoted as nodes in the Bayesian networks. The structure of the Bayesian model is then determined based on the historical data, which captures the dynamic sophisticated relationship of customer demands of a product, structural design, and market performance. Application of our approach to an electric toothbrush product family evolution design problem shows that our model allows for designers to interrogate with the model and obtain theoretical and decision support for dynamic product feature design process.