Title: Understanding and profiling user requirements to support the conceptual design in the aeronautical sector

Authors: Maria Franca Norese; Chiara Novello

Addresses: Department of Management and Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 – 10129 Torino, Italy ' Department of Management and Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 – 10129 Torino, Italy

Abstract: Acquiring and organising knowledge and information elements are essential activities in the innovation processes, not only to understand, but also to eliminate, or at least reduce and control technological and organisational complexities and uncertainties. An integration of tools from different disciplines could systematically help in the construction of an agreed framework for problem structuring, above all when the situation is 'new'. An application was developed in relation to an industrial project, in order to reduce uncertainty on the market that has to accept the innovation. The knowledge elements that were acquired in the project were analysed with an integrated use of cognitive mapping and actor network representation, in order to understand the whole situation and structure the problem. The results of this action were used to identify and formally develop technological, organisational and economic constraints and criteria starting from the end users' vision on the acceptability of all the possible innovations. Based on a multiple criteria clustering approach, profiles of the potential users of this innovative system and of their requirements were identified and proposed, in order to formally develop models that can orient analysis, decision and action.

Keywords: knowledge acquisition; knowledge representation; problem structuring; multicriteria modelling; multicriteria clustering; conceptual design; aeronautical industry; user requirements; innovation process; uncertainty reduction; cognitive mapping; actor network representation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCDM.2014.060424

International Journal of Multicriteria Decision Making, 2014 Vol.4 No.2, pp.135 - 153

Received: 10 Nov 2012
Accepted: 07 Mar 2013

Published online: 14 Apr 2014 *

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