Reference: Gruber, T. R.; Tenenbaum, J. M.; & Weber, J. C. Toward a knowledge medium for collaborative product development. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, 1992.
Abstract: Information sharing and decision coordination are central problems for large- scale product development. However, existing computer tools mainly support isolated tasks, such as geometric modeling and manufacturing process planning. This paper proposes a knowledge representation to support knowledge sharing and communication for cooperative product development. The representation is being designed as a knowledge medium for human organizations, rather than a language for data exchange between tools. Existing product data, models, documents and other forms of shared knowledge are encapsulated into a shared knowledge base a design elements. Relationships among design elements, and annotations describing their contents, are represented explicitly. The representation will afford variable levels of formalization of design knowledge. The minimal, "semiformal" level is an encapsulation of design elements as opaque objects and untyped relations among them ("hyperlinks"). Formal annotations on design elements and relationships can be incrementally enriched. The highest degree of formality includes declarative theories that support automated reasoning about how design team need to be notified. The paper analyzes the relationships can be incrementally enriched. The highest degree of formality includes declarative theories that support automated reasoning about how design changes impact other parts of the design and which members of the design team need to be notified. The paper analyzes the relationship between levels of formality in the shared representation and the computational services they enable.
Notes: Updated July.
Full paper available as ps.