The nature of the new organizations and the structure of the new production systems make it necessary to pay a specific attention to some different contexts of research. One of them is Multidisciplinary Optimisation (MDO) that is proposed as a methodology for the design of systems when the interaction between several disciplines is required and the product is so complex that a coupled analysis driven by a single optimiser is not practical. This situation is often the result of the organizational philosophy found in many large design groups where specialists are typically separated by discipline and therefore by language barriers. An MDO approach preserves the autonomy of disciplinary calculations, eliminates all the design variables, which are only significant for a specific discipline subsystem, in the system-level problem and requires all the interdisciplinary decisions to be reached by consensus. The concept of interaction between disciplines is related to the original context of work (the concurrent design), but can be extended to all the situations of different involved sectors, in technical, administrative or management decision contexts. Collaboration between ALENIA SPAZIO and the Politecnico di Torino was defined in relation to this problem, recognized as important in their decision processes, and proposed to the attention of the European Space Agency. Some mission case studies were used to define a model of the problem, where the multiple design groups are the decision makers, and to test the integrated use of some methods. Three different approaches (Combinatorial optimization, Multicriteria analysis and Game theory) were proposed to face the decision problem. The results, in relation to two mission case studies, are presented and analyzed. In the first case the integration is between Multicriteria analysis and a methodology of Problem structuring, in the second between Combinatorial optimization and Multicriteria analysis.
Group for Research in Decision Analysis