Formalizing User ActivityProduct Function Association Based Design Rules for Universal Products Conference Paper uri icon


  • Universal products intend to equally serve people with and without a disability. This paper focuses on creating guidelines that are applicable during the early stages of designing universal products. Actionfunction diagrams are used to formally compare existing universal products to their typical counterparts to study the similarities and differences. A data mining technique, particularly association rule learning, generates rules from the universal and typical product comparison data. Generation of function-based association rules for universal design has been performed on a smaller scale using this method; this research seeks to extend and formalize the same method by studying a larger set of universal products. Trends in the generation of rules are analyzed indicating that a finite set of rules should be applicable to an arbitrarily large set of products. Further, the rules are analyzed in detail to evaluate their potential for transferability and reuse from one product to another. Of particular interest is the transferability of the rules across apparently disparate product domains such as garden tools and residential furniture. The conceptual and physical similarity of the rules is discussed in the context of creating universal product families based on a platform of accessible elements.

name of conference

  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference

published proceedings

  • Volume 9: 23rd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; 16th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Sangelkar, S., & McAdams, D. A.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Sangelkar, Shraddha||McAdams, Daniel A

publication date

  • January 2011