Problem Solving
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07-10-2010, 12:13 PM



.ppt   Lecture 02 - Problem Solving - 06.ppt (Size: 146 KB / Downloads: 57)
Problem Solving

INTRODUCTION TO PROBLEM SOLVING

Engineers must analyze and solve a wide range of technical problems. Some will be reasonably simple single-solution problems. Others will be open-ended and will likely require a team of engineers from several disciplines. Some problems may have no clear solution.


• PROBLEM SOLVING INVOLVES:

– EXPERIENCE
– KNOWLEDGE
– PROCESS
– ART
FOCUS: Computer Assisted Problem Solving
Computers are good tools for solving rule-based problems using decision rules


THE ENGINEERING METHOD

• RECOGNIZE AND UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM
• GATHER DATA (AND VERIFY ITS ACCURACY)
• SELECT GUIDING THEORIES AND PRINCIPLES
• MAKE ASSUMPTIONS WHEN NECESSARY
• SOLVE THE PROBLEM
• VERIFY THE RESULTS
• PRESENT THE SOLUTION


ENGINEERING PROBLEM TYPES

• Create a new product
– Invention/conceptualization
– New/modified design of existing product
• Cost reduction
– Do it faster, cheaper, better
– example: Personal computers
• Develop or change a procedure
– Example: Warehouse inventory -- Instead of having 3 month's inventory go to "just in time"
• Human factors
– Make our lives longer, better, easier
– Examples: cruise control, moving sidewalks, management tools



TYPES OF INFORMATION FOR PROBLEM SOLVING

• GIVENS: The initial condition of the problem
• OPERATIONS: The various actions we are allowed to perform
• GOALS: The desired final condition of the problem
• PROBLEM STATE: The state of the problem at any specific point in time
• SOLUTION: Completely specified the GIVENS, OPERATIONS, GOALS, and succession of PROBLEM STATES to get to GOAL state

STEPS IN PROBLEM SOLVING

• IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
– YOU CAN’T FIX IT IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IS BROKEN.
– DETERMINE WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR THE SOLUTION
– WHAT IS KNOWN?
– WHAT IS UNKNOWN?
– ANY RESTRICTIONS OR LIMITATIONS?
– ANY SPECIAL CASES?
• DEVELOP A STEP-BY-STEP PLAN (ALGORITHM).
– HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FIX IT?
– OUTLINE THE SOLUTION IN A LOGIC DIAGRAM
• EXECUTE THE PLAN.
– KEEP TRACK OF WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN’T.
• ANALYZE THE SOLUTION
– REVISE THE PLAN AND RE-EXECUTE AS NEEDED.
– KEEP THE GOOD PARTS OF THE PLAN AND ALTER THE NOT-SO-GOOD ONES.
– REPORT / DOCUMENT THE RESULTS
– LET YOUR BOSS KNOW HOW YOUR IDEA WORKED ( in a written report ).

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