Ebook: Transdisciplinary Engineering: A Paradigm Shift
Concurrent Engineering is based on the concept that different phases of a product life cycle should be conducted concurrently and initiated as early as possible within the Product Creation Process (PCP). Its main goal is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the PCP and reduce errors in the later stages, and to incorporate considerations for the full lifecycle, through-life operations, and environmental issues of the product. It has become the substantive basic methodology in many industries, and the initial basic concepts have matured and become the foundation of many new ideas, methodologies, initiatives, approaches and tools.
This book presents the proceedings of the 24th ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary (formerly: Concurrent) Engineering (TE 2017), held in Singapore, in July 2017. The 120 peer-reviewed papers in the book are divided into 16 sections: air transport and traffic operations and management; risk-aware supply chain intelligence; product innovation and marketing management; human factors in design; human engineering; design methods and tools; decision supporting tools and methods; concurrent engineering; knowledge-based engineering; collaborative engineering; engineering for sustainability; service design; digital manufacturing; design automation; artificial intelligence and data analytics; smart systems and the Internet of Things.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of recent advances in transdisciplinary concurrent engineering research and applications, and will be of interest to researchers, design practitioners and educators working in the field.
This book of proceedings contains papers peer reviewed and accepted for the 24th ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary (formerly: Concurrent) Engineering, held at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, July 10–14, 2017. This is the sixth issue of the newly introduced series “Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering”, which publishes the proceedings of the TE (formerly: CE) conference series and accompanied events. The TE/CE conference series is organized annually by the International Society of Productivity Enhancement (ISPE, Inc.) and constitutes an important forum for international scientific exchange on transdisciplinary concurrent engineering and collaborative enterprises. These international conferences attract a significant number of researchers, industry experts and students, as well as government representatives, who are interested in the recent advances in transdisciplinary concurrent engineering research, advancements and applications.
Developed in the 80's, the CE approach is based on the concept that different phases of a product life cycle should be conducted concurrently and initiated as early as possible within the Product Creation Process (PCP), including the implications of this approach within the extended enterprise and networks. The main goal of CE is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the PCP and to reduce errors in the later phases, as well as to incorporate considerations for the full lifecycle, through-life operations, and environmental issues. In the past decades, CE has become the substantive basic methodology in many industries (e.g., automotive, aerospace, machinery, shipbuilding, consumer goods, process industry, environmental engineering) and is also adopted in the development of new services and service support.
The initial basic CE concepts have matured and have become the foundations of many new ideas, methodologies, initiatives, approaches and tools. Generally, the current CE focus concentrates on enterprise collaboration and its many different elements; from integrating people and processes to very specific complete multi/inter/trans-disciplinary solutions. Current research on CE is driven again by many factors like increased customer demands, globalization, (international) collaboration and environmental strategies. The successful application of CE in the past opens also the perspective for future applications like overcoming natural catastrophes, sustainable mobility concepts with electrical vehicles, and intensive, integrated, data processing. Due to the increasing importance of transdisciplinarity, the board of ISPE, Inc. has decided to rename the conference series in “Transdisciplinary Engineering”.
The TE2017 Organizing Committee has identified 31 thematic areas within CE and launched a Call For Papers accordingly, with resulting submissions submitted from all continents of the world. The conference is entitled: “Transdisciplinary engineering: a paradigm shift”. This title reflects the variety of processes and methods which influences the modern product creation. Finally, the submissions as well as invited talks were collated into 16 streams led by outstanding researchers and practitioners.
The Proceedings contains 120 peer-reviewed papers by authors from 27 countries. These papers range from the theoretical, conceptual to strongly pragmatic addressing industrial best practice. The involvement of more than 15 companies from many industries in the presented papers gives additional importance to this conference.
This book on ‘Transdisciplinary engineering: a paradigm shift’ is directed at three constituencies: researchers, design practitioners, and educators. Researchers will benefit from the latest research results and knowledge of product creation processes and related methodologies. Engineering professionals and practitioners will learn from the current state of the art in concurrent engineering practice, new approaches, methods, tools and their applications. The educators in the CE community gather the latest advances and methodologies for dissemination in engineering curricula, while the community also encourages young educators to bring new ideas into the field.
The proceedings are subdivided into sixteen parts, reflecting the themes addressed in the conference programme:
Part 1 contains papers in the theme Air Transport and Traffic Operations and Management addressing operational management and traffic control issues.
Part 2 contains contributions on Risk-aware Supply Chain Intelligence addressing operational and management issues in client-supplier relationships.
Part 3 illustrates some approaches to Product Innovation and Marketing Management. Papers included in this part address issues, like brand loyalty, consumer readiness, and consumer involvement in innovation processes.
Part 4, Human Factors in Design, an area with growing interest, contains papers on research into, for example, visualization, human behavior with products, and ergonomics.
Part 5, Human Engineering, contains papers, amongst others, on the design of intelligent devices like prostheses.
Part 6 addresses the theme Design Methods and Tools with papers on data and methods for specific design processes.
Part 7 contains papers on the theme Decision Supporting Tools and Methods. In this part subjects like methods and tools for mass customization are addressed including decision-making approaches.
Part 8 deals with the Concurrent Engineering. This part contains various approaches, methods, tools for planning, managing and executing a transdisciplinary engineering process.
Part 9, Knowledge-based Engineering, addresses a variety of approaches to capture, process, manage, use and disseminate knowledge in a transdisciplinary engineering process.
Part 10 is entitled Collaborative Engineering and contains papers on research into methods and tools for the initial phases of the design process in different application areas.
Part 11 contains papers on Engineering for Sustainability: cost-optimal, resource-efficient and eco-design and engineering.
Part 12 contains contributions in the area of Service Design, addressing the notion of systems, as well as the design of service systems and logistics.
Part 13 focuses on Digital Manufacturing with an emphasis on production processes, scheduling, maintenance, and work planning.
Part 14 addresses the topic of Design Automation, addressing topics like modeling automation, process automation, interoperability and data-driven design.
Part 15 contains papers on the theme Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics with an emphasis on modeling.
Part 16 outlines the importance of Smart Systems and the Internet of Things. Special attention will be given to Cyber Physical Systems, Industry 4.0 and cloud objects.
We acknowledge the high quality contributions of all authors to this book and the work of the members of the International Program Committee who assisted with the blind peer-review of the original papers submitted and presented at the conference. Readers are sincerely invited to consider all of the contributions made by this year's participants through the presentation of TE2017 papers collated into this book of proceedings. We hope that they will be further inspired in their work for disseminating their ideas for new approaches for sustainable, integrated, product development in a multi-disciplinary environment within the ISPE, Inc. community.
Chun-Hsien Chen, General Chair, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Amy C. Trappey, Co-General Chair, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
Margherita Peruzzini, Program Chair, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
Josip Stjepandić, Co-Program Chair, PROSTEP AG, Germany
Nel Wognum, Co-Program Chair, TU Delft, The Netherlands
Costs associated with unscheduled and preventive maintenance can contribute significantly to an airline's expenditure. Reliability analysis can help to identify and plan for maintenance events. Reliability analysis in industry is often limited to statistically based approaches that incorporate failure times as the primary stochastic variable, with additional strict assumptions regarding independence of events and underlying distributions of failure phenomena. This foregoes the complex nature of aircraft operations, where a whole range of operational factors may influence the probability of occurrence of a maintenance event. The aim of this research is to identify operational factors affecting component reliability and to assess whether these can be used to reduce the number of unscheduled occurrences (i.e. failures). To do so, a data-driven approach is adopted where historical operational and maintenance data is gathered and analysed to identify operational factors with a measurable influence on maintenance event occurrence. Both time-independent and time-dependent Proportional Hazard Models (PHMs), models which incorporate operational factors as covariates, are employed to generate reliability estimates. Results obtained from analysing historical data of a set of ten components with respect to unscheduled removals indicates that adopting new maintenance schedules, derived from the proposed reliability models, could reduce the number of unscheduled occurrences by approximately 37%. The potential benefits of adopting the proposed strategy are extensive. Nonetheless, numerous assumptions have been introduced to overcome challenges imposed by the complex nature of the data. To overcome these challenges, recommendations are made for future development of the proposed approach.
The aircraft dispatch decision is a complex analysis based on many factors related to airworthiness regulations, aircraft health status, resource availability at current and future stop(s) and operational preferences of the operator. Within the turnaround time (TAT) a decision has to be made whether the aircraft can return to service, defects have to be deferred, operational restrictions apply, maintenance has to be performed, or if the aircraft is unable to safely perform the next flight. This paper presents a framework for automated dispatch decision support and, as a first step of implementation of the framework, a proof of concept for automated root cause identification by means of a case study on a Airbus A320 wing anti-ice valve. A decision tree algorithm has been applied to a synthetic dataset, representing historical failure data with associated root causes and observed symptoms, achieving correct classification of the root cause for 40% of the cases. Analysis of the results show that the accuracy of the method increases with an increasing number of symptoms associated to a root cause. Furthermore, the method cannot distinguish between root causes with similar symptoms. Although the use of synthetic data restricts conclusions that can be drawn from the results, the work shows a proof of concept for automated root cause identification and leads to initial findings that are essential for future implementation and optimisation of the method. Eventually, the framework will be operationalised in the form of a mobile tool to assist stakeholders in on-site aircraft dispatch decision support.
To deal with the continous air traffic growth, air traffic controllers (ATCOs) are equipped with enhanced air traffic control (ATC) systems. The enhanced systems offer fully comprehensive aircraft information, such as plan view, speed, climb/descent rate, vertical information as well as the prediction of the aircraft parameters. Although increased information is often linked to the increase of situation awareness (SA), however, increasing the volume of information could also be detrimental to SA and workload. To what extend the aircraft information would benefit the ATCOs should be further investigated. This study aims to examine the effects of different information displays on ATCOs workload and SA. Thirty air traffic controllers (ATCOs) were divided into three groups corresponding to three display conditions: non-display, vertical, and trajectory display. The results revealed that the vertical display lowered ATCOs' workload and enhanced their SA as compared to other conditions. The workload and SA with the trajectory display were not different as compared to those in the existing ATC facility. It could be inferred that, on the one hand, with low information availability, ATCOs are required to interpret the airspace manually thus placing a cognitive burden on them. On the other hand, high information availability provided in the trajectory display condition, also hindered ATCOs from effectively using it due to the information overload. Here, the vertical display was found to provide sufficient information for ATCOs since it presents the information that was not depicted in the current radar system. Conversely, presenting information of all aircraft parameters was not necessarily valuable.
This research aims to investigate the occurrence of unstable approach from teamwork process via situation awareness, and shared-situation awareness. 9 pilots were recruited for a one-hour interview to identify critical themes. The results depicted that, under congested airspace derived from peak hour and unexpected weather, in order to consume excessive aircraft in the terminal area, ATCOs were prone to issue instructions which sacrificed aircraft's safety margins to squeeze the current air traffic flow. Therefore, aircraft may be too high or too fast during approach. For team process, pilots will actively identify ATCOs intention from TCAS, radio channel, and given instructions. As a result, they will be able to predict the coming steps and make preparation in advance. To conclude, in order to balance the needs of both ATCOs and pilots. ATCOs may have to consider not only separation but the appropriateness of vertical profile. Other than that, during the team process, critical and short information should be provided to make sure both parties comprehend each others intention mutually in seconds.
Unlike manned aviation operating in non-segregated or controlled airspace where separation distance between aircraft is well defined, the safe separation distance for UAVs operating in urban environment in segregated or uncontrolled airspace have yet to be established. There are many confounding factors affecting the safe separation distance for UAV. These include but not limited to exogenous factors such as wind, rain and birds. In this study, the aim is to derive the relationship between separation distance and the number of conflicts. As a preliminary study, direct flights for UAVs are considered. This is because from a UAS operator's point of view, a direct flight to destination is always preferred. However this may not be allowed due to the potential increase in conflicts due to multiple UAVs operating concurrently in the airspace. If the airspace density is sufficiently low, one expects the conflicts between UAVs to be reduced accordingly, thus making direct paths feasible. On the other hand, a high density would nonetheless increase the number of conflicts, rendering a controlled and managed airspace necessary, either by altering the flight paths or through speed control. It is then postulated that there should be a particular threshold whereby such transition from a free flight path to a non-free flight path will take place. With this aim in mind, the number of conflicts, defined by the loss of separation, between the UAVs is investigated for two scenarios: (1) direct flight path to destination and (2) direct flight path with speed control. In both scenarios, the UAVs will enter the airspace simultaneously towards different destination points, simulating the maximum possible number of UAVs entering the airspace at the same time. The number of conflicts is also then computed for different values of distance separation distance separation for each scenario. These results will then give a preliminary hint on the threshold conditions for the transition.
This work will be designed for the driver's distraction driving condition during driving, which aims to improve the driver's spatial awareness and response time. In order to meet these requirements, we analyze and apply the relevant theories such as visual selection and cognitive capture to find out the necessary function of the head-up display interface. Omnidirectional recognition, presenting information when necessary, information division, intelligent braking and call disconnection are five features in the design. In order to prove the effectiveness of the design, we designed the experimental prototype and eye movement experiment to test the design. Overall, this work discusses a huge challenge of Human-machine interface, elaborates many new features of the car interactive interface, and introduces the outcome of user trails that contrast the interface with our design and without our design.
With the increasing usage of composite materials in the aerospace industry, the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft has become a major challenge. MRO operations for composite aircraft are complex because there are a variety of types of damage that can happen to the composite materials, and there are numerous corresponding inspection and repair methods that may be chosen. For new aircraft that use a significant amount of composites materials such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, cost and cycle time of maintenance are significantly affected by the efficiency and effectiveness of composite materials joining and repair process and inspection. However, current repair and inspection methods are primarily labor-intensive and time-consuming manual operations. In this study, a new method for assisting in composite aircraft inspections based on a vision-based technique was proposed to improve the aircraft maintenance process. An image-based recognition method and a 3-D augmented reality method will be conceptualized. In the experimental phase, a simulated aircraft component with underlying structures was fabricated with 3-D printing, and a test of identifying the underlying structures was conducted to validate its accuracy. The preliminary results of validation of 3-D augmented reality are provided.
Emergent behavior is behavior of a system that does not depend on its individual parts, but on their relationships to one another. Such behavior exists in biological systems, physical systems as well as in the human performance. It is an inherited nature of a System-of-Systems (SoS). A suitable framework is needed to guide the development of SoS architecture, which includes emergent behavior. Enterprise architecture (EA) is a discipline driving change within organizations. Aligning and integrating business and IT thereby belongs to strategic management. The management of EA change is a challenging task for enterprise architects, due to complex dependencies amongst EA models, when evolving towards different alternatives. In this paper, various architecture frameworks are explored for an application on SoS architecture. The use of Zachman Framework to guide the architecture development is described in step-by-step details in this paper. The agent-based simulation is recommended to develop the SoS architectural models following the Zachman Framework guidance. Ultimately, SysML and UML should be integrated with the agent-based model. An example with the collaborative engineering services for the global automotive supply chain is hereby described.
With the continuous development of the global container liner transportation, container terminal operation receives more and more attention. However, many uncertain situations still bring considerable risk to the operation of container terminals, such as the container volume cyclical fluctuation of shipping route, which brings the overflow risk in the yard area and challenges the terminal consecutive operation of the original yard template plan. This paper considers the cyclical fluctuation characteristics of different shipping routes, and proposes a resilient model (an MILP model) of yard template generation. The proposed model aims to minimize the expected overflow number of containers during the planning period and makes the operation of yard space allocation implemented more efficiently and orderly. Numerical experiments are performed to validate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed model.
E-commerce (EC) has fundamentally changed retail business models. Mobile devices (or m-commerce) and social networks drive retail innovations by better enabling data transfer and communications between EC participants (buyers, sellers, intermediaries). Many suppliers or intermediaries have invested in building virtual channels. Omni-channel sales integrate resources of different channels and provide consistent and satisfactory shopping experiences to potential customers. This research analyzes the retail industry's as-is omni-channel sales across social, legal, economic, policy, and technological (S.L.E.P.T) views. The research presents the to-be model of smart logistic services for omni-channel sales and distribution. The Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled solutions supporting smart logistic services for omni-channel sales are the focus of the research. Finally, the as-is and to-be logistic process models are benchmarked with respect to their performance indices including operating costs, times, and required human resources.
Nowadays, more and more people choose the possibility of sharing goods and services. This trend is on the one hand utilized by the possibilities given through the digitalization and on the other hand forced by restricted resources and environmental issues. This development already caused significant changes in many markets and businesses but has not yet been holistically established in the field of supply chain management of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This paper aims to evolve a strategy to integrate the main idea of the sharing economy and its platform-based business model into the supply chain management of SMEs. Therefore, the requirements of SMEs among their supply chains are classified and the idea of the sharing economy is implemented and evaluated. This research presents the applicability and contribution of the principals of the Sharing Economy to the sector of supply chain management in SMEs. This will empower SMEs to improve their current market value.
Cross-border e-commerce has become popular recently, so the importance of cross-border logistics has been enhanced. Because foreign buyers have high demand for logistics time, strengthening the logistics is an important key to increase sales. Only to enhance the ability of logistics can accelerate the cycle of the entire sales chain. By accelerating the recovery of capital can also increase the company's profits. However, the cost of logistics is the largest online cost of foreign trade expenditures. Cross-border distribution service errors would cause significant losses. Logistics risk management is relevant to improve the integration of strategic flows, but the contributions to cross-border logistics risks in literature seem limited. Therefore, this study is based on five steps of “Supply Chain Continuous Operation Management” (SCCOM) to help us analysis service risk for cross-border logistics. The main content of five steps include understand the SCCOM background, define SCCOM scope and objectives, operational impact analysis, continuous operational risk assessment, and continuous operational strategy. In case study, we take “Double 11” of Taobao in Taiwan area for example. Let consumers of China buy high-quality goods in Taiwan Taobao, and then send goods from Taiwan to China as the logistics risk analysis before the phase of cross-border services. The result indicates that cross-border logistics are most affected by “information system instability” and “maritime customs clearance anomalies”. We develop the strategies that aim at the two factors above and propose some ways to reduce logistics service risk. Through the analysis results of this paper, cross-border logistics industries can take it as a basis for the development strategies. By this way, industries will reduce logistics risk, increase logistics capacity and smooth, and then improve the overall profit of the foreign trade industries.
In the process of workshop production scheduling, many risk factors can affect the reliability of production. The factors influencing the production scheduling include time, quality, equipment failure and so on. The stability is critical in the flow shop, so the risk factors related to the production scheduling should be considered in the workshop production. Workshop scheduling is taken as the research object in this paper. Along with the rapid development of database technology, the process of workshop production scheduling also involves the record and statistics of many historical production data. So data analysis technology will be used to analyze the risk factors in the process of workshop scheduling firstly inthis paper. Secondly, the simulation model for production scheduling integrated with the risk factors will be built. The aim of the model is to balance the flow shop plan and improve the production efficiency. Finally, an example is given to show that the risk factors selected in this paper and the model are effective for solving the risk problem of workshop production scheduling.
This work presented a defect classification methods based on improved classification algorithm in additive manufacturing process. To make the algorithm be applicable in process monitoring tasks, a method of optimizing the evolution process in GP evolution was raised in this work. A series of specific functions and their linear combinations were introduced to represent the GP classification model. The evolution process in this strategy is designed to optimize the coefficients of these functions and the offset. The advantaged in GP are also completely inherited. Comparing with GP alone, the improved strategy could reach higher classification accuracy in engineering application, i.e., process monitoring of additive manufacture.
In recent years, Cross-Border e-Commerce has rapidly become popular in our daily life, and continuously causing some problems. Therefore, it is necessary to identify problems or risks using information technology. This study proposes a platform based on Software-defined Networking (SDN) and cloud virtualization technology. This platform can be the tool for a Cross-Border e-Commerce risk data analysis. The platform provides high flexibility and reliability, in line with the future development of large data risk analysis.
While China's economy is in deep reform and industrial transition, cross-border e-commerce industry in China has shown an annual growth rate of 30% in recent years, soaring to the top of global Cross-Border E-Commerce (CBEC) markets. However an efficient and flexible distribution network is required to fully reap the rewards of this growth, which has posed great challenges for CBEC retailers and carriers struggling to ease consumer shipment impatience. The aim of the study presented in this paper is to provide explicit explanationsof the emergence, development, opportunities, challenges and future of cross-border e-commerce in China both from the perspectives of China's legitimate authorities and e-commerce companies. The actions taken by China's authorities when facing the explosive emergence of cross-border e-commerce trade volume are the one of the key factors leading the development path of e-commerce in China. E-commerce companies are also devoted to the development of e-commerce trade seeking better ways to maintain competitive in the industry. An example of the logistical distribution network of one of China's e-commerce giants has been studied in this research. It is concluded that the logistical network is adaptive to the development trend of e-commerce in China. In future work, the performances of China's logistical distribution networks are to be evaluated from perspectives of network topology and functionality (trade-off between efficiency and cost) specified with CBEC consideration. A mathematical model is to be formulated as a Mixed-Integer Linear Programming (MILP) problem. Topological complexity of the mathematical model is studied based on the complex network theory. Trade-offs between delivery time (termed as “efficiency”) and transportation costs of the model is also evaluated for it is the key factor of significance both for CBEC customers and retailers.
The potentially conflicting regulations of different nations add risks to cross-border e-commerce (CBEC), and the characteristic of small volume, multi-batch commodity transactions makes CBEC hard to be inspected by human experts. In this paper a knowledge-based CBEC risk assessment system is proposed and special attention is paid to the improvement of system functions including commodity classification and knowledge acquisition. While the former focuses on the accurate recognition of product types in order that right regulations can be applied to the product, the latter accomplishes the transformation from textual regulations into formatted, computer understandable rules with the least mistakes and redundancies. These two techniques collectively improves the usability of the knowledge-based CBEC risk assessment system to a practical level.
The domain model represents the knowledge for the planning of a project, for the definition of requirements and the construction of the logical model of a solution, in the field of software or in any other. The development of products lines requires to dispose earlier more complete domain knowledge than that for the development of individual software products. Indeed, it is necessary to consider just at the beginning the domain variability and components reuse in an ample family of products, as well as, the initial investments for this change of development paradigm. The three project risk categories more recognized in the PERIL data base (Project Experienced Risks Information Library): Scope, schedule and resources are aspects whose management in the products lines approach require more rapid and comprehensive treatment of the domain knowledge. In order to attend this high exigency and risks in managing of domain knowledge, this research proposes a defect-based risks model combined with a set of generic radical and moderate solutions, applicable to any project phase or to the whole project. The proposed solution covers from risks identification to the formulation of preventive, corrective and mitigation controls. The not consideration of some load cases in a structural analysis in a civil engineering project illustrates the application these different types of controls.
This paper presents the results of an exploratory study designed to evaluate Deja, a new mobile application that combined communication and social networking functions. The underlying question of this study is sought to understand how young users, accustomed to using this app, to communicate with friends and conduct other social networking activities. The app was empirically tested by a group of selected participants in Singapore. Multiple ways to collect consumer data were conducted including think aloud, observation, usability tasks, customer satisfaction survey as well as customer behavioral survey. An analysis of the problems experienced by the users was discussed. The results also provided the basis to suggest specific improvements to the application. Beyond the enhancement of the user experience design, the results of this study have significant theoretical and practical implications for enterprise to study young user behavior toward new mobile applications, especially communication and social networking applications.
Online lottery promotion during holidays has become an important approach for online communities to attract new users and activate current members. The objective of this study is to empirically examine the influence of an online lottery promotional campaign on user acquisition and user engagement from both short-term and long-term perspectives. The aquired data recorded individual users' daily activities on the mobile application before, during and after the lottery promotional campaign, as well as users' participation in the lottery draw and the awards received. This study found that the online promotion attracted more users to register, activated the registered users during the lottery promotion and the users who won non-virtual prize (monetary prize) will be more active in commenting after the promotion. While in the long run all the users' posting activities slightly decreased after the promotion, the lottery promotional campaign is effective in attracting and activating users in short term period.
Recently, the boundaries between smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks are becoming much more blurred than before. To sustain in a fiercely competitive environment, global brand companies start to design multi-functional products to satisfy diverse consumer requirements. For instance, Asus and Lenovo design Padfones (a smartphone inside) and Yoga Pro3 (a micro-projector inside) to enhance visualization of smartphones and tablets, respectively. Meanwhile, Acer, Sony, and Fuji develop varieties of tablets like Padbooks (pad + keyboard) and Padnotes (pad + stylus pen) to enhance keyboard interface. In this study, a TRIZ (theory of inventive problem solving) based framework is presented to analyze these innovative ideas and indicate how innovative solutions tackle the trade-offs between the improving features and the worsening features. Thereafter, rough set theory (RST) is applied to elicit the causalities between user preferences for ergonomic features and demographic variables. Finally, product recommendation w.r.t. the niche segments can be accordingly achieved.