Prioritizing Design for Environment Strategies Using a Stochastic Analytic Hierarchy Process

by | Aug 29, 2014

Authors: Devarajan Ramanujan, William Z. Bernstein, Mikko Koho, Fu Zhao, Karthik Ramani
Journal of Mechanical Design, 136(7), 071002

This paper describes a framework for applying design for environment (DfE) within an industry setting. Our aim is to couple implicit design knowledge such as redesign/process constraints with quantitative measures of environmental performance to enable informed decision making. We do so by integrating life cycle assessment (LCA) and multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA). Specifically, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is used for prioritizing various levels of DfE strategies. The AHP network is formulated so as to improve the environmental performance of a product while considering business-related performance. Moreover, in a realistic industry setting, the onus of decision making often rests with a group, rather than an individual decision maker (DM). While conducting independent evaluations, experts often do not perfectly agree and no individual expert can be considered representative of the ground truth. Hence, we integrate a stochastic simulation module within the MCDA for assessing the variability in preferences among DMs. This variability in judgments is used as a metric for quantifying judgment reliability. A sensitivity analysis is also incorporated to explore the dependence of decisions on specific input preferences. Finally, the paper discusses the results of applying the proposed framework in a real-world case.



Dev Ramanujan

Dev Ramanujan

Dev is starting as an Assistant Professor - Design Research at Aarhus University this in Fall 2017. He was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Global Engineering and Research Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from Feb 2016 - June 2017. He received his PhD in Dec 2015 from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. His research work in the C Design Lab focused on data representation and visualization models for supporting environmentally conscious product design. He has co-authored publications in the Journal of Mechanical Design, Journal of Computing and Information Science, Computer-Aided Design, Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. He has received the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Design for Manufacturing and the Lifecycle Scholar Development Award in 2014, and the Estus H. and Vashti L. Magoon Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015.  [Linked In Profile] [Personal Web Page]