Set-based design (SBD) is a method for performing design discovery by way of elimination. SBD is characterized by:
1. communicating broad sets of design values,
2. developing sets of design solutions,
3. evaluating sets of design solutions by multiple domains of expertise,
4. delaying design decisions to eliminate regions of the design space until adequate information is known, and
5. documenting the rationale for eliminating a region of the design space.
SBD concentrates on eliminating infeasible and highly dominated regions of the design space. An infeasible region is a region where there is high confidence that a solution does not exist. A highly dominated region is a region where another feasible region is evaluated as being better in every metric of interest. Regions of the design space can be confidently eliminated based on partial information. In SBD, the ultimate solution is obtained incrementally as new information is incorporated. To be precise, many decisions are made regarding what the solution is not; this occurs as supporting information becomes available. Remaining analysis may focus on a reduced design space. In this manner, designs can often be accomplished faster and with greater robustness as compared to traditional methods.