Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Some Ontological Distinctions of Function Based on the Role Concept

[+] Author Affiliations
Yoshinobu Kitamura, Riichiro Mizoguchi

Osaka University, Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan

Paper No. DETC2009-87168, pp. 1045-1054; 10 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 8: 14th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 6th Symposium on International Design and Design Education; 21st International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, August 30–September 2, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4905-7 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3856-3
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Function is an important aspect of artifacts in engineering design. Although many definitions of function have been proposed in the extensive research mainly in engineering design and philosophy, the relationship among them remains unclear. Aiming at a contribution to this problem, this paper investigates some ontological issues based on the role concept in ontological engineering. We discuss some ontological distinctions of function such as essentiality and actuality and then propose some fundamental kinds of function such as essential function and capacity function. Based on them, we categorize some existing definitions in the literature and clarify the relationship among them. Then, a model of function in a product life-cycle is proposed. It represents the changes of existence of the individuals of each kind of function, which are caused by designing, manufacturing and use. That model enables us to give answers to some ontological questions such as when and where a function exists and what a function depends on. The consideration on these issues provides engineers with some differentiated viewpoints for capturing functions and thus contributes to consistent functional modeling from a specific viewpoint. The clarified relationships among the kinds of function including the existing definitions in the literature will contribute to interoperability among functional models based on the different kinds and/or definitions.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In