Title: Knowledge representation for engineering design

Authors: Ludger Schmidt, Holger Luczak

Addresses: Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University, Bergdriesch 27, D-52062 Aachen, Germany. ' Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University, Bergdriesch 27, D-52062 Aachen, Germany

Abstract: Engineering design tasks are mainly knowledge-intensive cognitive actions. Therefore, an adequate computer-based structure and representation of engineering design knowledge is a crucial point to support the design engineer|s cognitive tasks. On the one hand, this knowledge representation should correspond to an intuitive way of thinking. On the other hand, this representation should comply with conscious systematic design methods without limiting human problem solving. In a first step of an analytical research approach, this contribution is concerned with deriving detailed requirements on a useful knowledge representation for computer-aided engineering design. For that purpose, generalised characteristics of human problem solving and information processing can be specified for design problem solving. According to their fulfilment of these requirements, eight main models of knowledge representation were compared concerning their utility to support human problem solving in engineering design. As a result of this evaluation, a useful model of knowledge representation is suggested and illustrated by an example of use.

Keywords: knowledge representation; engineering design; human information processing; design knowledge; problem solving; CAD; cognitive engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2005.007247

International Journal of Product Development, 2005 Vol.2 No.3, pp.191 - 206

Published online: 27 Jun 2005 *

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