System design problem is NP-complete

William L. Chapman, Jerzy Rozenblit, A. Terry Bahill

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


System design is the process used to transfer the need for a system into an actual production unit. It requires selecting components from a given set and matching the interfaces between them. Those that can be connected to meet the top level system's input and output requirements are tested to see how well they meet the system's performance and cost goals. We will prove that this system design process is NP-complete. This will be done by restricting the Knapsack problem, which is known to be NP-complete, to an instance of the system design process problem. The implications of this are that designing optimal systems with deterministic, polynomial time procedures is not possible. However, designing near optimal systems is possible and even likely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1880-1884
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics
StatePublished - 1994
EventProceedings of the 1994 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics. Part 1 (of 3) - San Antonio, TX, USA
Duration: Oct 2 1994Oct 5 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture


Dive into the research topics of 'System design problem is NP-complete'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this