An evolutionary method for synthesizing technological planning and architectural advance
Cole, Bjorn Forstrom
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There are many times in which a critical choice between proposed system architectures must be made. Two situations in particular motivate this dissertation: a "Cambrian explosion" when no dominant rchitecture has arisen, and times in which developments enable challenges to a dominant incumbent. In each situation, the advance of core technologies is key. This dissertation features a new computing technique to systematically explore the interaction of technological progress with architectural choices. This technique is founded upon a graph theoretic formulation of architecture, which enables the consideration of multifunctional components and modularity v. synergy trades. The technique utilizes a genetic algorithm formulated for graphs, and a solver that automatically constrains and optimizes component design variables. The use of quantitative technology models, graph theoretic formulation, and optimization algorithms together enables a systematic exploration of both time and combinatorial spaces. The quantitative results of this exploration enhance the strategic view of technology planners.