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Publication Details

Acquiring Design Rationale Automatically

by Myers, K. L. and Zumel, N. B. and Garcia, P.

Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design,Analysis and Manufacturing, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 115-135, 2000.

Abstract

The value of comprehensive rationale for documenting a design has long been recognized. However, designers rarely produce detailed rationale in practice because of the substantial time investment required. Efforts to support the acquisition of rationale information have focused on languages and tools for structuring the acquisition process, but still require substantial involvement on the part of the designer. This paper describes an experimental system, the Rationale Construction Framework (RCF), that acquires rationale information for the detailed design process without disrupting a designer’s normal activities. The underlying approach involves monitoring designer interactions with a commercial CAD tool to produce a rich process history. This history is subsequently structured and interpreted relative to a background theory of design metaphors that enable explanation of certain aspects of the design process. The framework provides an environment that can acquire rich, meaningful rationale information in a time- and cost-effective manner, with minimal disruption to the designer.

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Associated Projects

Rationale Capture

Automated Capture of Design Rationale

This project developed nondisruptive techniques for automatically acquiring rationale information for the detailed design process. The project produced a Rationale Construction Framework (RCF) system that monitors designer interactions with a CAD tool to produce a rich process history. This history is then structured and interpreted relative to a background theory of `design metaphors', thus enabling summarization and explanation of key elements of the design process.

AIC Personnel

Name Title E-mail
Garcia, Pablo E Sr. Research Engineer
Myers, Karen Program Director & Principal Scientist
Zumel, Nina B Alumnus

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