Listing Unique Fractional Factorial Designs



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Fractional factorial designs are a popular choice in designing experiments for studying the effects of multiple factors simultaneously. The first step in planning an experiment is the selection of an appropriate fractional factorial design. An appro- priate design is one that has the statistical properties of interest of the experimenter and has a small number of runs. This requires that a catalog of candidate designs be available (or be possible to generate) for searching for the "good" design. In the attempt to generate the catalog of candidate designs, the problem of design isomor- phism must be addressed. Two designs are isomorphic to each other if one can be obtained from the other by some relabeling of factor labels, level labels of each factor and reordering of runs. Clearly, two isomorphic designs are statistically equivalent. Design catalogs should therefore contain only designs unique up to isomorphism. There are two computational challenges in generating such catalogs. Firstly, testing two designs for isomorphism is computationally hard due to the large number of possible relabelings, and, secondly, the number of designs increases very rapidly with the number of factors and run-size, making it impractical to compare all designs for isomorphism. In this dissertation we present a new approach for tackling both these challenging problems. We propose graph models for representing designs and use this relationship to develop efficient algorithms. We provide a new efficient iso- morphism check by modeling the fractional factorial design isomorphism problem as graph isomorphism problem. For generating the design catalogs efficiently we extend a result in graph isomorphism literature to improve the existing sequential design catalog generation algorithm. The potential of the proposed methods is reflected in the results. For 2-level regular fractional factorial designs, we could generate complete design catalogs of run sizes up to 4096 runs, while the largest designs generated in literature are 512 run designs. Moreover, compared to the next best algorithms, the computation times for our algorithm are 98% lesser in most cases. Further, the generic nature of the algorithms makes them widely applicable to a large class of designs. We give details of graph models and prove the results for two classes of designs, namely, 2-level regular fractional factorial designs and 2-level regular fractional factorial split-plot designs, and provide discussions for extensions, with graph models, for more general classes of designs.