In engineering design and analysis, complex systems often need to be decomposed into a hierarchical combination of different simple subsystems. It’s necessary to provide formal, computable methods to hierarchically decompose complex structures. Since graph structures are commonly used as modeling methods in engineering practice, this paper presents a method to hierarchically decompose graph structures. The Minimal Description Length (MDL) principle is introduced as a measure to compare different decompositions. The best hierarchical decomposition is searched by evolutionary computation methods with newly defined crossover and mutation operators of tree structures. The results on abstract graph without attributes and a real function structure show that the technique is promising.

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