Equilibrium stability in decentralized design systems


Chanron, V., Singh T., & Lewis, K.


International Journal of Systems Science, 36(10), 651-662, 2005.


The focus of this paper is on complex systems, and it presents a theoretical study of the design of complex engineering systems. More particularly, this paper studies the stability of equilibria in decentralized design environments. Indeed, the decentralization of decisions is often recommended in the design of complex systems, and the decomposition and coordination of decisions are a great challenge. The mechanisms behind this network of decentralized design decisions create difficult management and coordination issues. However, developing efficient design processes is paramount, especially with market pressures and customer expectations. Standard techniques to modelling and solving decentralized design problems typically fail to understand the underlying dynamics of the decentralized processes and therefore result in suboptimal solutions. This paper aims to model and understand the mechanisms and dynamics behind a decentralized set of decisions within a complex design process. Complex systems that are multidisciplinary and highly nonlinear in nature are the primary focus of this paper. Therefore, techniques such as response surface approximations and Game Theory are used to discuss and solve the issues related to multidisciplinary optimization. Nonlinear control theory is used in this paper as a new approach to study the stability of equilibrium points of the design space. Illustrations of the results are provided in the form of the study of the decentralized design of a pressure vessel.

   Author = {V. Chanron, T. Singh, K. Lewis},
   Journal = {International Journal of Systems Science},
   Month = {Aug.},
   Pages = {651-662},
   Title = {Equilibrium stability in decentralized design systems},
   Volume = {36},
   Number = {10},
   Year = {2005}