Some Basic Topics and Application Domains

1. General Modular Design/Engineering
2. Hierarchical Modular Systems
2. Structured (modular) Development of Complex Software
3. Modular Manufacturing
4. Modular Design of Management Decisions
5. Modular Design in Civil Engineering
6. Modular Design in Electrical Engineering
7. Product Platforms and Product Families
8. Modularity in Chemistry (Combinatorial chemistry including drug design)
9. Mathematical Models of Modularity
10. Modularity in Mathematical Models
11. Modular Solving Strategies

Research Groups, Centers, etc.

1. Group of Prof. Andrew Kusiak (Dept. of Industrial Engineering, The Univ. of Iowa)
2. Composable System Group (Dept. of Computer Science, CMU)
3. Prof. Lilian Barros (Universite de Technologie de Troys, France).
4. Prof. John A. Gershenson, Laboratory of Life Cycle Engineering,
(Dept. of Mechanical Engineeirng, Michigan University of Technology)

5. Prof. Carliss Y. Baldwin (Business School, Harwand University)
6. Prof. Michel Tollenaere, GILGO-Laboratory (INPG, France)
7. Prof. Yuanfang Cai, (Dept. of CS, Drexel University)
8. Prof. Ron Sanchez, IMD Lausanne, Switzerland; Copenhagen Nusiness School, Dept. of Innovation and Organizational Economics, Denmark


  • Comm. of the ACM
  • European J. of Operational Research
  • Res. in Engineering Design
  • Applied Intelligence
  • Advanced Engineering Infromatics
  • ACM Comput. Surv.
  • IEEE Trans. on SMC
  • IEEE Intell. Syst.& Their Appl.
  • J. of Mechanical Design
  • J. of Intelligent Manufacturing
  • Int. J. of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
  • International Journal of Production Research
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Automation and Remote Control
  • Advances in Engineering Software
  • J. of Integrated Design and Process Science
  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
  • IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology
  • ASME Transactions: Journal of Mechanical Design
  • ASME Journal of Manufacturing Systems
  • Annals of Operations Research
  • IEEE Trans. on Software Engineering
  • Design Studies
  • Concurrent Engineering: Research and Applications
  • Operations Research Letters
  • IEEE Trans. on Reliability
  • IEICE Trans. Inf. Systems
  • Intl. J. of Logistics: Research and Applications
  • Intl. J. of Agile Manufacturing
  • Decision Sciences
  • Research Policy
  • Microprocessors and Microsystems


  • BOOKS:
    1. C.Y. Baldwin, and K.B. Clark, Design Rules: The Power of Modularity. Vol. 1, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2000.
    2. T. DeMarco, Structured Analysis and System Specification. New York: Prentice Hall, 1979.
    3. R. Garud, A. Kumaraswamy, R. Langlois (Eds.) Managing in the Age of Modularity: Architecture, Networks, and Organizations. J.Wiley & Sons, New York, 2009.
    4. Yoshimi Ito, Modular Design for Machine Tools. McGraw-Hill, 2008.
    5. A.K. Kamrani, and S.M. Salhich, Product Design for Modularity. Kluwer, 2000.
    6. A. Kusiak, (Ed.), Concurrent Engineering: Automation, Tools and Techniques. John Wiley, New York, N.Y., 1993, 589 pages.
    7. A. Kusiak, (Ed.), Intelligent Design and Manufacturing, John Wiley, New York, N.Y., 1992, 753 pages.
    8. A. Kusiak, Intelligent Manufacturing Systems. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1990, 443 pages. (Published also in Chinese by Tsinghua University Publishing House, P.R. of China, 1993).
    9. M.Sh. Levin, Combinatorial Engineering of Decomposable Systems, Kluwer (now: Springer), 1998.
    10. M.Sh. Levin, Composite Systems Decisions. Springer, 254 p., 2006.
    11. M.Sh. Levin, Decision Support Technology for Modular Systems. Electgronic book, (in Russian), 341 pp., Nov. 2013.
    Book (pdf-file)
    12. M.Sh. Levin, Modular System Design and Evaluation. Springer, 373 p., 2015 (Due: Sep. 2014).
    13. Zainalabedin Navabi, VHDL: Modular Design and Synthesis of Cores and Systems. 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill, 2007.
    14. Peter O'Grady, The age of modularity. Adams and Steele, 1999.
    15. G. Pahl, and W. Beitz, Engineering Design. A Systematic Approach. London: The Design Council & Springer-Verlag, 1988.
    16. Ron Sanchez, Modularity, Strategic Flexibility, and Knowledge Management. Oxford Univ. Press, 2007.
    17. M. Shaw, and D. Garlan, Software Architecture: Perspectives on an Emerging Discipline, Prentice Hall, 1996.
    18. Timothy W. Simpson, Jianxin (Roger) Jiao, Zahed Siddique, (Eds.), Product Platform Family and Product Platform Design: Methods and Applicaitons. Springer, New York, 2006.
    19. Timothy W. Simpson, Jianxin (Roger) Jiao, Zahed Siddique, Katja Holtta-Otto, (Eds.), Advances in Product Platform Family and Product Platform Design: Methods and Applicaitons. Springer, New York, 2014.
    20. Heiner Stuckenschmidt, Christine Parent, Stefano Spaccapietra (eds.), Modular Ontologies. Concepts, Theories and Techniques for Knowledge Modularization. LNCS 5445, Springer, 2009.
    21. E. Yourdon, Techniques of Program Structure and Design. NJ: Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983.
    22. Gerhard Schlosser, Gunter P. Wagner, Modularity in Development and Evolution. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2004.
    23. Werber Callebaut, Diego Rasskin-Gutman, Modularity: Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems. The MIT Press, 2009.

    1. C.Y. Baldwin and K.B. Clark, Managing in an age of modularity. Harvard Business Review, 84-93, Sept.-Oct. 1997.
    2. O. Berman,, and N. Ashrafi, Optimization Models for Reliability of Modular Software Systems. IEEE Trans. on Software Engineering, Vol. 19, No. 11, pp. 1119-1123, 1993.
    3. Y. Cai, K.J. Sullivan, A value-oriented theory of modularity in design. ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, 30(4), 1-4, 2005.
    4. Y. Cai, K.J. Sullivan, A formal model for automated software modularity and evolvable analysis. ACM Trans. Softw. Eng. Methodol., 21(4), art. no. 21, 2012.
    5. N. Chiriac, K. Holtta-Otto, D. Lysy, E.S. Suh, Level of modularity and different levels of system granularity. J. of Mechanical Design, 133(10), 101-107, 2011.
    6. Y.K. Chung, A. Kusiak, Grouping Parts with a Neural Network, ASME Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 13(4), 262-275, 1994.
    7. J.B. Dahmus, J.P. Gonzalez-Zugasti, K.N. Otto, Modular product architecture. Design Studies, 22(5), 409-424, 2001.
    8. S.K. Ethiraj, D. Levinthal, Modularity and innovation in complex systems. Management Science, 50(2), 159-173, 2004.
    9. J.A. Gershenson, and G.J. Prasad, Modularity in Product Design in Manufacturing. Intl. J. of Agile Manufacturing, 1(1), 1997.
    10. J.A. Gershenson, G.J. Prasad, and S. Allamneni, Modular Product Design: A Life Cycle View. J. of Integrated Design and Process Science, 3(4), 13-26, 1999.
    11. J.A. Gershenson, G.J. Prasad, Y. Zhang, Product modularity: definitions and benefits. J. of Engineering Design, 14(3), 295-313, 2003.
    12. J.A. Gershenson, G.J. Prasad, Y. Zhang, Product modularity: measures and deswign methods. J. of Engineering Design, 15(1), 33-51, 2004.
    13. W.G. Griswold, K.J. Sullivan, Y. Song, M. Shonle, N. Tewari, Y. Cai, H. Rajan, Modular software design with crosscutting interfaces. IEEE Software, 23(1), 51-60, 2006.
    14. D. He and A. Kusiak, Design of Assembly Systems for Modular Products, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 13(5), 646-655, 1997.
    15. M.R. Hoogeweegen and P.H.M. Vervest, Modularity: Being agile and versatile at the same time. Agility and Global Competition, 2(4), 23-34, 1998.
    16. M.R. Hoogeweegen,. W.J.M. Teunissen, P.H.M. Vervest, and R.W. Wagenaar, Modular Network Design: Using Information and Communication Technology to Allocate Production Tasks in a Virtual Organization. Decision Sciences, 30(4), 1073-1103, 1999.
    17. C.C. Huang and A. Kusiak, Modularity in Design of Products and Systems, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part A, 28(1), 66-77, 1998.
    18. A. Jose, M. Tollenaere, Modular and platform methods for product family design: literature analysis. J. of Intelligent Manufacturing, 16(3), 371-390, 2005.
    19. U.S. Karmarkar, P. Kubat, Modular product design and product support. Eur. J. of Operational Research, 29(1), 74-82, 1987.
    20. B. Kirk, Understanding the Art of Modular Engineering. Microprocessors and Microsystems. 14(3), 181-185, 1990.
    21. P. Kubat, Assessing Reliability of Modular Software. Operations Research Letters, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 35-41, 1989.
    22. N. Kuppuraju, P. Ittimakin, and F. Mistree, Design Through Selection: a Method That Works. Design Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 91-106, 1985.
    23. A. Kusiak, C.C. Huang, Design of Modular Digital Circuits for Testability. IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology - Part C, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1997, pp. 48-57.
    24. A. Kusiak, C.C. Huang, Development of Modular Products. IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology - Part A, 19(4), 523-538, 1996.
    25. A. Kusiak, N. Larson, Decomposition and Representation Methods in Mechanical Design. ASME Transactions: Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 117, No. 3, 1995, pp. 17-24.
    26. A. Kusiak, J. Wang, Decomposition of the Design Process. ASME Transactions: Journal of Mechanical Design, 115(4), 687-695, 1993.
    27. A. Kusiak, W.J. Boe, C.H. Cheng, Designing Cellular Manufacturing Systems: Branch-and-bound and A* Approaches. IIE Transactions: Design and Manufacturing, 25(4), 46-56, 1993.
    28. A. Kusiak, Branching Algorithms for Solving the Group Technology Problem. ASME Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 10, No. 4, 1991, pp. 332-343.
    29. A. Kusiak, C.H. Cheng, A Branch-and-Bound Algorithm for Solving the Group Technology Problem. Annals of Operations Research, Vol. 26, 1991, pp. 415-431.
    30. A. Kusiak, K. Park, Concurrent Engineering: Decomposition and Scheduling of Design Activities. International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 28, No. 10, 1990, pp. 1883-1900.
    31. A. Kusiak, W.S. Chow, Decomposition of Manufacturing Systems. IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation, Vol. 4, No. 5, 1988, pp. 457-471.
    32. A. Kusiak, W.S. Chow, An Efficient Cluster Identification Algorithm. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Vol. SMC-17, No. 4, 1987, pp. 696-699.
    33. A. Kusiak, W.S. Chow, Efficient Solving of the Group Technology Problem. ASME Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 6(2), 117-124, 1987.
    34. R.N. Langlois, P.L. Robertson, Network and innovation in a modular system: lessons rom the microcomputer and stereo component industries. Research Policy, 21, 297-313, 1992.
    35. Y.-W. Leung, Optimal Reliability Allocation for Modular Software Systems Design for Multiple Customers. Software Reliability Model for Modular Program Structure. IEICE Trans. Inf. Systems, Vol. E 79-D, , No. 12, pp. 1655-1662, 1996.
    36. M.Sh. Levin, Hierarchical Morphological Multicriteria Design of Decomposable Systems. Concurrent Engineering: Research and Applications, 4(2), pp. 111-117, 1996.
    37. M.Sh. Levin, System Synthesis with Morphological Clique Problem: Fusion of Subsystem Evaluation Decisions. Information Fusion, 2(3), 225-237, 2001.
    38. M.Sh. Levin and M.L. Nisnevich, Combinatorial Scheme for Management of Life Cycle: Example for Concrete Macrotechnology. J. of Intell. Manufacturing, 12(4), 393-401, 2001.
    39. M.Sh. Levin, Towards Combinatorial Analysis, Adaptation, and Planning of Human Computer Systems, Applied Intelligence, 16(3), 235-247, 2002
    40. M.Sh. Levin, Modular System Synthesis: Example for Composite Packaged Software, IEEE Trans. on SMC, Part C, 35(4), 544-553, 2005.
    41. B. Littlewood, Software Reliability Model for Modular Program Structure. IEEE Trans. Reliability, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 241-246, 1975.
    42. Jesper Momme, Morten M. Moeller, & Hans-Nenrik Hvolby, Linking Modular Product Architecture to the Strategic Sourcing Process: Case Studies of Two Danish Industrial Enterprises. Intl. J. of Logistics: Research and Applications, 3(2), 127-146, 2000.
    43. I. Mustakerov, D. Borissova, Modular systems design via multicriteria optimization. Advanced Modeling and Optmization (An Electronic Int. Journal), 15(2) 421-430, 2013.
    44. Steven R. Ray, A Modular Process Planning System Architecture, 1989 IIE Integrated Systems Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, November 12-15, 1989.
    45. G.G. Rogers, and L. Bottaci, Modular Production Systems: a new manufacturing paradigm. Intl. J. of Intelligent Manufacturing, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 147-156, Apr. 1997
    46. Manuel E. Sosa, Steven D. Eppinger, Craig M. Rowles, A Network Approach to Define Modularity of Components in Complex Products. J. of Mechanical Design, 129(11), 1118-1129, 2007.
    47. W.P. Stevens, G.J. Myers, L.L. Constantine, Structured design. IBM Journal, 13(2), 115-139, 1974.
    48. D.V. Steward, The design structure matrix: A method for managing the design of complex systems. IEEE Trans. on Eng. Manag., 28(3), 71-74, Aug. 1981.
    49. Christine Parent, Stefano Spaccapietra (eds.), An Overview of Modularity. In: Heiner Stuckenschmidt, Christine Parent, Stefano Spaccapietra (eds.), Modular Ontologies. LNCS 5445, Springer, 5-24, 2009.
    50. Y.-T. Tsai and K.-S. Wang, The development of modular-based design in considering technology complexity. Eur. J. of Oper. Res., 119(3), 692-703, 1999.
    51. H. Tsukune, M. Tsukamoto, T. Matsushita, F. Tomita, K. Okada, T. Ogasawara, K. Takase, and T. Yuba, Modular Manufacturing. Intl. J. of Intelligent Manufacturing, 4(2), 163-181, 1993
    52. K. Ulrich, and K. Tung, Fundamentals of Product Moduarity. Issues in Design/Manufacture Integration 1991, A. Sharon, Ed., New York: ASME, 1991, pp. 73-79.
    53. C.A. Voss, J. Hsuan, Service architecture and modularity. Decision Sciences, 40(3), 541-569, 2009.
    54. Maria-Cristina V. Marinescu, Martin C. Rinard, A Formal Framework for Modular Synchronous System Design. 2012.
    55. U. Brandes, D. Delling, M. gaertler, R. Gorke, M. Hoefer, Z. Nikoloski, D. Wagner, On modularity clustering. IEEE Trans. on Knowledge and Data Engineeirng, 20(2), 172-188, 2008.
    56. Ron Sanchez, J.T. Mahoney, Modularity, flexibility, and knowledge managemnt. Strategic management journal, 17(2), 63-76, 1996.
    57. Ron Sanchez, J.T. Mahoney, Modularity, flexibility, and knowledge managemnt in product and organization design. IEEE Eng Nanage Rev, 25(4), 50-61, 1997.
    58. Ron Sanchez, Modular architecures in the marketing process. The J. of Marketing, 92-111, 1999.
    59. Ron Sanchez, Modular archictures, knowledge assets and organizational learning: new management processes for product creation. The Int. J. of Technology Management, 19(6), 610-629, 2000.
    60. Ron Sanchez, R.P. Collins, Competing - and learning - in modular markets. Long Range Planning, 34(6), 645-667, 2001.
    61. Ron Sanchez, Uisng mofdularity to manage the interactions of technical and industrial design. Academic Review, 2(1), 8-19, 2002.
    62. Ron Sanchez, Creating modular platforms for strategic flexibility. Design Management Review, 15(1), 58-67, 2004.
    63. W.G. Griswold, M. Shonle, K. Sullivan, Y. Song, N. Tewari, Y. Cai, H. Rajan, Modular software design with crosscutting interfaces. IEEE Software 23(1), 51--60, 2006.
    64. Kevin J. Sullivan, W.G. Griswold, Y. Cai, B. Hallen, The structure and value of modularity in software design. ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes 26(5), 99--108, 2001.

    1. M.Sh. Levin, Morphological methods for design of modular systems (a survey). Electronic preprint. 20 pp., Jan. 9, 2012. [cs.SE]

    2. M.Sh. Levin, Multiset estimates and combinatorial synthesis. Electronic preprint. 30 pp., May 9, 2012. [cs.SY]

    3. M.Sh. Levin, Composition of modular telemetry system with interval multiset estimates. Electronic preprint. 9 pp., July 25, 2012. [cs.SY]

    4. M.Sh. Levin, Composite strategy for multicriteria ranking/sorting (methodological issues, examples). Electronic preprint. 24 pp., Nov. 9, 2012. [math.OC]

    5. M.Sh. Levin, Towards design of hierarchy (research survey). Electronic preprint. 36 pp., Dec. 8, 2012. [math.OC]

    6. M.Sh. Levin, Note on combinatorial engineering frameworks for hierarchical modular systems. Electronic preprint. 11 pp., Mar. 29, 2013. [math.OC]

    7. M.Sh. Levin, Improvement/extension of modular systems as combinatorial reengineering (survey). Electronic preprint. 24 pp., Apr. 17, 2013. [cs.AI]

    8. M.Sh. Levin, Note on evaluation of hierarchical modular systems. Electronic preprint. 15 pp., May 21, 2013. [cs.AI]

    9. M.Sh. Levin, Towards Detection of Bottlenecks in Modular Systems. Electronic preprint. 12 pp., June 1, 2013. [cs.AI]

    10. Jeff Clune, Jean-Baptiste Mouret, and Hod Lipson, The evolutionary origins of modularity. Electronic preprint, 17 pp., July 11, 2012. [q-bio.PE]

    11. Saurabh Mahapatra, Jason Ghidella, Ascension Vizinho-Coutry, Enabling Modular Platforms for Complex Systems. MathWorks Inc., 2010.

    1. A. Kusiak, and C.C. Huang, Development of Modular Product. Intelligent Systems Lab., Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, Working Paper ISL-9616, 1996.
    2. M.Sh. Levin, Combinatorial Selection and Synthesis of Packaged Software. Working Paper 98-6, Faculty of Administration, Univ. of Ottawa, 1998.
    3. M.Sh. Levin, Towards Combinatorial Models of Synthesis. TR 96-1-02, Univ. of Aizu, Japan, 1996
    4. D. Garlan, and M. Shaw, An Introduction to Software Architecture. Technical Report, CMU-CS-94-166, Jan. 1994.
    5. L. Barros, A Modular Design of a Flexible Manufacturing Systems with "Hard & Soft" Products. Presentation at Conf. INFORMS, Tel-Aviv, June 1998.

    1. Gunnar Erixon, Modular Function Deployment - A Method for Product Modularization. PhD Thesis, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 2008. TRITA-MSM R-98-1
    2. R.B. Stake, On the conceptual development of modular products. Doctoral Thesis, Division of Assembly Systems, Dept. of Production Engineering, Royal Institute of Tehcnology, Stockholm, 2000.
    3. T.D. Miller, Modular Engineeirng. Doctoral Thesis. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Section for Engineering and Produc Development. Technical University of Denmark, 2001.
    4. M. Blackenfelt, Managing Complexity by Product Modularization. Doctoral Thesis, Dept. of Mechine Design, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 2001.
    5. M.-C. Marinescu, Synthesis of Synchronous Pipelined Circuits from Hogh-Level Modular Specificaitons. PhD Thesis, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, Dec. 2002.
    6. J.H. Mikkola, Modularization in New Product Development: Implications for Product Architectures, Supply Chain Management, and Industry Structures.
    PhD Thesis, Copenhagen Business School, Samfundslitteratur, 2003.
    7. J. Aarnio, Modularization by Integration: Creating Modular Concelts for Mechatronic Products. Doctoral Thesis, Tampere Univetsity of Technology, 2003.
    8. Katja Holtta-Otto, Modular Product Platform Design. PhD Thesis. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology, 2005.
    9. J. Rusnak, The Design Structure Analysis System: A Tool to Analyze Software Architecture. PhD Thesis, Harvard Univ., 2005.
    10. Yuanfang Cai, Modularity in Design: Formal Modeling and Automated Analysis. PhD Thesis, CS, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Univ. of Virginia, Apr. 2006.