-- MarkCutkosky - 07 Aug 2003

Functional analysis of climbing

As an activity, climbing can be described in terms of Functional Requirements that are, ideally, independent of any Physical realization (e.g. legs, types of feet, etc.). Following standard design practice, we can create a Functional Decomposition of functions and sub-functions. At the top of the tree is "Climbing" as an action. Next we think about what Climbing entails... In order to climb, we need to Attach to a surface, Detach from a surface, Produce Upward Force, etc. The tree can go to artitrary levels of detail.
The Goals of this approach are to ensure that the search space of possible solutions is kept as broad as possible, to ensure that certain requirements are not inadvertently overlooked in the rush to embrace a particular solution, and to help establish a common terminology among the design collaborators.

The children sub-functions beneath a particular function can be related by AND or OR links. In the first case, all of the sub-functions are required, collectively to accomplish the parent. In the latter case, the sub-functions are alternative ways of accomplishing portions of the parent function.

Another way to interpet links between levels in the hierachy is that they constitute a HOW/WHY diagram. Traversing links downward answers "how" questions (How can this function be accomplished?); traversing links upwards answers "why" questions (Why is this sub-function necessary? What does it contribute to?),

Current Decomposition (.ppt) is contained in the Docushare collection of files relating to Climbing Analyses. (These are Powerpoint files using MS Organization Chart. Surely there is a better tool around.... suggestions welcome!)

This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platformCopyright &© by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback