Approximate reasoning heuristics for decision support in engineering design
Many infrastructure designs are not at satisfactory levels throughout the world. Subsequent cost and schedule overruns, and much publicised structural failures, are continuing to create significant risks for design stakeholders. Engineering design managers need approximate reasoning heuristics to know what will work and what will not, and a practical knowledge of the sensitivity of design output to changes in critical design inputs. In this paper, concept embodiment heuristics for civil engineering design are introduced. It is seen that heuristics serve as decision support tools to reduce design uncertainty, and to strengthen the alignment between engineering education and industry practice. It is also illustrated that consolidating the design convergence link between conceptual design heuristics and code-compliant detailed design algorithms is needed for future development. The introduced heuristics can be integrated into design codes to provide a powerful tool for conceptual design guidance, particularly for novice designers, and as a quality assurance check for design convergence.