Ant Colony Optimization for Multi-objective Digital Convergent Product Network

Abstract

Convergent product is an assembly shape concept integrating functions and sub-functions to form a final product. To conceptualize the convergent product problem, a web-based network is considered in which a collection of base functions and sub-functions configure the nodes and each arc in the network is considered to be a link between two nodes. The aim is to find an optimal tree of functionalities in the network adding value to the product in the web environment. First, an algorithm is proposed to assign the links among bases and sub-functions. Then, numerical values as benefits and costs are determined for arcs and nodes, respectively, using a mathematical approach. Also, customer’s value corresponding to the benefits is considered. Finally, the Steiner tree methodology is adapted to a multi-objective model optimized by an ant colony optimization method. The approach is applicable for all digital products, such as mobile, tablet, laptop, etc. An example is worked out to illustrate the proposed approach.