Functional Interdependence and Product Similarity Based on Customer Needs Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper, related product functions are determined for a group of approximately 70 consumer products. Using customer need data, a new matrix approach is introduced to identify these relationships. Techniques are then created for determining product similarity. These techniques are clarified and validated through three case studies, including beverage brewers and material-removal products. The results of these case studies are argued to have significant impact on design-by-analogy procedures, benchmarking methods, mass customization strategies and modular design. The paper concludes with a discussion of applications and related procedures for product development.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • McAdams, D. A., Stone, R. B., & Wood, K. L.

citation count

  • 81

publication date

  • April 1999