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Design problem solving is a complex activity involving a number of subtasks and a number of alternative methods potentially available for each subtask. The structure of tasks has been a key concern of recent research in task-oriented method-ologies for knowledge based systems (C h a n d r a s e k a r a n 1986; Clancey 1985; Steels 1990; McDer-mott 1988).(More)
We explore the meanings of the terms 'struc-ture', 'behaviour', and, especially, 'function' in engineering practice. Computers provide great assistance in calculation tasks in engineering practice, but they also have great potential for helping with reasoning tasks. However, realising this vision requires precision in representing engineering knowledge, in(More)
n recent years there has been increasing interest in describing complicated information processing systems in terms of the knowledge they have, rather than by the details of their implementation. This requires a means of modeling the knowledge in a system. Several different approaches to knowledge modeling have been developed by researchers working in(More)
The functional representation (FR) framework, which captures the causal component of a design rationale (DR), is described. FR encodes the designer's account of the causal processes in the device that culminate in achieving its function. The representation makes explicit the components' roles in the causal process. The limitations of FR as a design(More)
* Understanding the design of an engineered device requires both knowledge of the general physical principles that determine the behavior of the device and knowledge of what the device is intended to do (i.e., its functional specification). However, the majority of work in model-based reasoning about device behavior has focused on modeling a device in terms(More)