Friday, September 20, 2013 at 12:00pm
Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall, 253
Ezra's Round Table/Systems Seminar: Timothy Simpson (Penn State) - Many Objective Visual Analytics: The Power and Pitfalls of Putting Humans “Back in the Loop” during the Design of Complex Engineered Systems
Designers can now simulate thousands, if not millions, of design alternatives more cheaply and quickly than ever before with today’s computers, yet the design of complex engineered systems remains plagued by exorbitant cost and schedule overruns. By some estimates, the Department of Defense is losing over $200 million per day* due to current system design practices, indicating how we have collectively failed to realize the synergies among advances in computing power, many-objective optimization algorithms and adaptive search techniques, and multi-dimensional data visualization tools. After introducing our framework for many-objective visual analytics, the power and potential pitfalls of putting humans “back in the loop” during the design of complex engineered systems will be discussed. The novelty in our work lies in providing designers with a set of visual steering commands to simultaneously explore a many-objective trade space and exploit new insights as they are gained. The impact of problem size, response delay, and interface capabilities on design efficiency and effectiveness will be presented based on experimental results from 330 human subjects. The advantages of visual steering commands and the importance of user training will be highlighted through several automotive and aerospace examples. Four use cases will also be presented based on real-world trade studies for land, sea, and air vehicles. Finally, opportunities for supporting team-based trade studies involving multiple disciplinary experts will be shown with a spacecraft example. The implications of the results along with ongoing research and implementation challenges will also be discussed.
Dr. Simpson is currently a Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Penn State with affiliations in Engineering Design and the College of Information Sciences & Technology. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1998 and 1995, and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 1994. He has been involved with over $65M in funding for his research in product family and product platform design, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO), and additive manufacturing, and he has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers to date. He teaches courses on Product Family Design, Concurrent Engineering, Mechanical Systems Design, and Product Dissection, and he serves as the Director of the Product Realization Minor in the College of Engineering. He is a recipient of the ASEE Fred Merryfield Design Award and a NSF Career Award. He has received several awards for outstanding research and teaching at Penn State, including the 2007 Penn State University President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration. He is a Fellow in ASME and an Associate Fellow in AIAA. He currently serves on the ASME Design Education Division Executive Committee and is former Chair of both the ASME Design Automation Executive Committee and the AIAA MDO Technical Committee. He is also a Department Editor for IIE Transactions: Design & Manufacturing and serves on the editorial boards for Research in Engineering Design, Journal of Engineering Design, and Engineering Optimization.
* I.D. Maddox, P.D. Collopy, and P. A. Farrington (2013) Value-Based Assessment of DoD Acquisition Programs, Procedia Computer Science, Vol. 16, 1161-1169.