SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Gregory Mocko
TIME: Thursday, February 23, 2006, 2:00 p.m.
PLACE: MARC Building, 201
TITLE: A Knowledge Framework for Integrating Multiple Perspectives in Decision-Centric Design
COMMITTEE: Farrokh Mistree, Co-Chair (ME)
David Rosen, Co-Chair (ME)
Janet K. Allen (ME)
Chris Paredis (ME)
Leon McGinnis (ISYE)
Nelson Baker (CEE)


Abstract Problem: Engineering designers often “view” product-related design information from various perspectives throughout the product realization process depending on their domain and design concerns. Despite advances in computing technology and the maturation of design support tools and product models, significant gaps exist that limit the ability to collaborate across design perspectives. Current research efforts do not adequately address information representation and exchange for engineering design decisions. Hence, the primary challenge is to develop computational representations to facilitate the exchange product-related information for engineering design decision support. Approach: To address this challenge, our primary hypothesis is that information model can be developed for representing the knowledge associated with engineering decision and can be implemented using Description Logics. The primary hypothesis is realized in this dissertation as a framework for capturing knowledge in decision centric design. The framework comprises three components: (1) a computational knowledge representation for engineering design decisions, (2) a computational knowledge representation for engineering analysis models, and (3) reasoning and querying services for capturing, organizing, and reusing design decision knowledge. Validation: The framework is validated using the validation-square approach that consists of theoretical and empirical validation. Empirical validation of the framework is carried out using various examples including: the representation of decision knowledge associated with the design of structural elements and a structural heat exchanger. Contributions: The contributions from this dissertation include: a) a framework for decision centric design, b) a computer-based representation for capturing knowledge associated with design decisions, and c) an exploratory application of description logics for engineering information management.