The Functional Domain

  • Erik W. Aslaksen


The functional domain was introduced in Sec. B4.3, and there is nothing about this concept that limits it to systems engineering; functionality is a feature of all engineered objects, and the abstraction away from any particular physical object has been utilised by engineers in their search for better solutions since the very beginning of engineering. This is exactly what James Watt did when he realised the function of creating a vacuum by condensation in the form of a separate condenser, instead of it being integral to the cylinder. However, as this example demonstrates, the search for solutions was always carried out in the physical domain; the functional domain was never considered as a domain in which one could actually perform engineering. This was, and still is, quite appropriate and efficient for simple functions. But as the functions become more complex, the process becomes inefficient, as we already mentioned in Sec. B4.4, and we want to improve the efficiency by carrying out some of the design in the functional domain before making the transition into the physical domain.


Functional Domain Functional Parameter Physical Domain Functional Element Primary Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Aslaksen, E.W.: Designing Complex Systems – Foundations of design in the functional domain. CRC Press (2008)Google Scholar
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    Levin, B.: English Verb Classes and Alternation: A Preliminary Investigation. The University of Chicago Press (1993)Google Scholar
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    Classification of verbs is an important component of Natural Language Processing and Cognitive Comuter Science, and the most developed classificatioon is VerbNet, developed originally at the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania with Karin Kipper-Schuler, now at the University of Colorado, as the main author. – Another group is located at the Computer Laboratory at University of Cambridge with Anna Korhonen, as the main proponent. – Finally, the work on Controlled Natural Language at the Centre for Language Technology at Macquarie University, with Rolf Schwitter, as the main proponent, is also relevant to functional elements

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gumbooya Pty Ltd.Allambie HeightsAustralia

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