Exploiting latent functional capabilities for resilience in design of engineering systems
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionResearch in Engineering Design. 2017. 10.1007/s00163-017-0279-y
In this paper, we address latent functional capabilities, capabilities that were neither intended nor recognized in the design process. We propose that latent capabilities can improve the resilience of engineering systems, enabling recovery of performance after disruptive events. Engineering systems are designed to meet their functional requirements, and have a limited ability to avoid critical failures. Normally, redundancies are put in place to reduce the impact of potential disruptions, adding to cost and complexity. An alternative is to uncover latent capabilities that can be used to recover from disruption by altering the function-form mapping. Existing design methods focus on intended, manifest functionality, and do not consider latent capabilities. With basis in design theory, we show that latent capabilities can enhance resilience, and demonstrate this using two illustrative cases. Further, we propose approaches to uncover latent capabilities in systems design, and discuss implications of using latent capabilities to enhance resilience.