Design gene representations for emergent innovative design

Wei Zhang, Mark Price, Trevor Robinson, Declan Nolan, Dimitrios Nikolopoulos, Sakil Barbhuiya, Stephen Kyle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)
130 Downloads (Pure)


Looking to nature for inspiration, this work presents an alternative bottom-up engineering design system, which allows unpredicted-but-valuable designs to emerge with few constraints. A set of “design genes” have been developed which trigger and control the growth of a design within a CAD system through mechanisms such as copying and stretching. The single gene is structured as a one-dimensional array representation, which includes 6 elements: the attribute, the attribute’s value or type, its active status, start and stop conditions, and dominance. A set of genes grouped together forms a “design seed” which contains all the necessary information to create the design. The design then emerges from the actions of the genes, which do not know anything about the final shape or form of the design. The growth is managed within a design environment which provides the external triggers and conditions needed to activate the genes. Different designs can emerge from the same seed in response to different environmental conditions based on their influence on the elements in the genes. This paper will outline the design gene representations and a simple-but-powerful growth strategy for the emergence of innovative designs in engineering. Numerical examples are tested to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th International Conference on Manufacturing Research, ICMR 2019
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Transdisciplinary Engineering
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Electronic)2352-7528


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