An interactive and iterative control panel layout method based on the constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) technique was developed to generate an ergonomically sound panel design. This control panel layout method attempts to incorporate a variety of relevant ergonomic principles and design constraints, and generate an optimal or, at least, a ‘satisfactory’ solution through an efficient search algorithm. The problem of seeking an ergonomically sound panel design should be viewed as a multi-criteria problem, and most of the design objectives should be understood as constraints. Hence, a CSP technique was employed in this study for dealing with the multi-constraints layout problem. The efficient search algorithm using ‘preprocess’ and ‘look_ahead’ procedures was developed to handle the vast amount of computational effort. In order to apply the CSP technique to the panel layout procedure, the ergonomic principles such as spatial compatibility, frequency-of-use, importance, functional grouping, and sequence-of-use were formalized as CSP terms. The effectiveness of the proposed panel layout method was evaluated by example problems, and the results clearly showed that the generated layouts properly considered various ergonomic design principles.
- Constraint satisfaction problem
- Control panel layout
- Interactive layout approach
- Search technique
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation