Detection of Inconsistencies in Complex Product Configuration Data Using Extended Propositional SAT-Checking

Carsten Sinz, Andreas Kaiser, and Wolfgang Küchlin, University of Tübingen, Germany

We present our consistency support tool BIS, an extension to the electronic product data management system (EPDMS) used at DaimlerChrysler AG to configure the Mercedes lines of passenger cars and commercial vehicles. BIS allows verification of certain integrity aspects of the product data as a whole. The underlying EPDMS maintains a data base of sales options and parts together with a set of logical constraints expressing valid configurations and their transformation into manufacturable products. Due to the complexity of the products and the induced complexity of the constraints, maintenance of the data base is a nontrivial task and error-prone. By formalizing DaimlerChrysler’s order processing method and converting global consistency assertions about the product data base into formulae of an extended propositional logic, we are able to employ a satisfiability checker integrated into BIS to detect inconsistencies, and thus increase the quality of the product data.

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