Reference: Bonnet, J.-C. Functional Representations: a Support for Enriched Reasoning Capabilities. Knowledge Systems Laboratory, October, 1991.
Abstract: In this article, I explore the notion of functionality of devices. Through the definition of an ontology of functions, I try to bring together the different approaches that have been developed along the axis of functional reasoning into a consistent framework. This study has taken advantage of the ongoing redesign project aimed at building a system that provides automatic assistance to a user who is in charge of redesigning a particular real-world equipment. My own contribution in the field of functional reasoning includes an ontology of functions and the definition of some functional representation primitives. I then describe application areas where functional reasoning is promising. Finally, some implications of the functional representation to the design of problem-solving architectures are outlined.