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Multi-Modal Knowledge Bases to Facilitate Conceptual Mechanical Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Yong-Seok Park, Sumit Sunil Narsale, Pradeep Kumar Mani, Jami J. Shah

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Paper No. DETC2015-46372, pp. V01BT02A001; 13 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1B: 35th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5705-2
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Over the past several years we have been building a variety of knowledge bases and tools to support conceptual design of mechanical systems. Both intuitive and logical methods have been embedded into system. An interactive system for concept generation and synthesis based on hierarchical morphological charts has been implemented to serve as an organizational framework. Knowledge bases span a wide range of abstraction levels, from physical effects and working principles at one end, to artifact repositories, linkages/mechanisms and common machine elements. Existing knowledge bases from various sources were combined with those developed in-house to create a comprehensive set. User studies on two previous versions of the tool gave us valuable information about enhancements and improvements, both to the knowledge and to the user interface. This paper describes the third incarnation of our Testbed. The methods are now grouped into six modules: Problem Formulation, Re-formulation, Searching for Standard Solutions, Generating sub-solutions from first principles, Gateways to External Resources, Synthesis and Process Monitoring. In addition, users can monitor their state and process. Multilayer morphological charts provide more flexible options as well as customizable solution sets to users. The Testbed is implemented as a web based application implemented in CakePHP (MVC) and PHP. For storing and retrieving data SQLite was used. This Testbed has the dual purpose of design facilitation for novices and for research on conceptual design and creativity.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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