Modeling Design Process

Hideaki Takeda, Paul Veerkamp, Hiroyuki Yoshikawa


This article discusses building a computable design process model, which is a prerequisite for realizing intelligent computer-aided design systems. First, we introduce general design theory, from which a descriptive model of design processes is derived. In this model, the concept of metamodels plays a crucial role in describing the evolutionary nature of design. Second, we show a cognitive design process model obtained by observing design processes using a protocol analysis method. We then discuss a computable model that can explain most parts of the cognitive model and also interpret the descriptive model. In the computable model, a design process is regarded as an iterative logical process realized by abduction, deduction, and circumscription. We implemented a design simulator that can trace design processes in which design specifications and design solutions are gradually revised as the design proceeds.

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