With the increasing diversity of personal preferences for products, the conventional style of design using a series of consecutive procedures is inadequate to create designs that satisfy those preferences under the frequent changes of requirements in design specifications. Under these circumstances, conceptual design plays a key role to comply with those preferences and requirements, and to shorten the lead time in product development. This is also true in the domain of piping layout design, where a designer makes design in a trial-and-error way to comply with the requirements frequently changed in specification until the final design is formulated.

The paper describes an approach of piping route path planning using genetic algorithm (GA). Optimization technique of GA generates a preliminary route path through evolution of genes which represent the piping route path. A designer evaluates the route path, modifies it, and repeats the procedure until the appropriate path is designed. In this way, a designer can interactively proceed the layout of piping in a collaborative manner using a design support system. The paper shows the procedure of the method and some results of simulation.

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