The trend to articulate product offering is putting pressure on manufacturing companies like never before. Therefore, the complexity of modern products and of the associated manufacturing processes is rapidly increasing. High complexity, as we know, is a prelude to vulnerability. It is a fact that in all spheres of social life excessive complexity leads to inherently fragile situations. Humans perceive this intuitively and try to stay away from highly complex situations. But can complexity be taken into account in the design and manufacturing of products? The answer is affirmative. Recently developed technology, which allows engineers to actually measure the complexity of a given design or product, makes it possible to use complexity as a design attribute. Therefore, a product may today be conceived and designed with complexity in mind from day one. Not only stresses, frequencies or fatigue life but also complexity can become a design target for engineers. Evidently, if CAE is to cope with the inevitable increase of product complexity, complexity must somehow enter the design-loop. As mentioned, today this is possible. Before going into details of how this may be done, let us first take a look at the underlying philosophy behind a “Complexity-Based CAE” paradigm. Strangely enough, the principles of this innovative approach to CAE have been established in the 14-th century by Francis William of Ockham when he announced his law of parsimony – "Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" – which boils down to the more familiar "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best." The key, of course, is measuring simplicity (or complexity). Today, we may phrase this fundamental principle in slightly different terms:

Complexity X Uncertainty = Fragility

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