Supporting Design Rationale Retrieval for Design Knowledge Re-Use

DS 58-8: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 8, Design Information and Knowledge, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Wang, Hongwei; Johnson, Aylmer; Bracewell, Rob
Series: ICED
Section: Design Information and Knowledge
Page(s): 335-346


Current retrieval methods of design rationale focus mainly on either the classification of rationale or on key-word based searches of records. The pitfalls of these methods are obvious. First, a classification scheme imposes a large burden on experts. Second, key-word based searches require the designers to understand, at least to some extent, what they are seeking. This ongoing research aims to develop methods and tools for designers to facilitate the re-use of design rationale captured via a software tool currently used in industry. Our first step is to improve the key-word based search by providing better human-computer interaction. Specifically, the improved retrieval is implemented by a novel combination of three methods as discussed in the paper. A software prototype has been developed to demonstrate the proposed approach, as well as to research into how it can be integrated into the design rationale capture tool. Preliminary evaluation shows the prototype can provide good supports to designers especially when they do not know exactly what to search for. Some problems encountered during this work are also identified in the evaluation, leading to a discussion of our future work.

Keywords: Engineering design, knowledge management, design rationale, information retrieval


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