Complexity metrics have been developed for multiple applications such as consumer products, software, trajectory selection and assembly systems. Although existing complexity metrics were developed to reduce product design and development costs, their lack of simplicity in formulation and robustness has limited their applicability. This paper proposes a standard methodology for comparing and evaluating these metrics and introduces dimensions of complexity that should be considered towards the goal of developing a generalizable product complexity measure. To this end, this paper introduces variables that integrate multiple facets of complexity into a single metric.

A medical device case study is used to compare the efficiency and robustness of existing complexity measures. The medical device case study also serves as the motivation for the proposed complexity metric due to the complexity of the domain itself and the increasing importance of mitigating healthcare costs. Overall, product complexity metrics can aid medical device development by increasing the understanding about the design and its implications regarding development time and FDA approvals.

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