Commenced in January 2007
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Topographic Arrangement of 3D Design Components on 2D Maps by Unsupervised Feature Extraction

Authors: Stefan Menzel


As a result of the daily workflow in the design development departments of companies, databases containing huge numbers of 3D geometric models are generated. According to the given problem engineers create CAD drawings based on their design ideas and evaluate the performance of the resulting design, e.g. by computational simulations. Usually, new geometries are built either by utilizing and modifying sets of existing components or by adding single newly designed parts to a more complex design. The present paper addresses the two facets of acquiring components from large design databases automatically and providing a reasonable overview of the parts to the engineer. A unified framework based on the topographic non-negative matrix factorization (TNMF) is proposed which solves both aspects simultaneously. First, on a given database meaningful components are extracted into a parts-based representation in an unsupervised manner. Second, the extracted components are organized and visualized on square-lattice 2D maps. It is shown on the example of turbine-like geometries that these maps efficiently provide a wellstructured overview on the database content and, at the same time, define a measure for spatial similarity allowing an easy access and reuse of components in the process of design development.

Keywords: Self-Organization, Design decomposition, topographic non-negative matrix factorization, parts-based representation, unsupervised feature extraction

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