Facilitating design communication through engineering information traceability

Neven Pavkovic, Mario Štorga, Nenad Bojcetic, Dorian Marjanovic
2013 Artificial intelligence for engineering design, analysis and manufacturing  
AbstractTraceability of information provides the basis for assessing the credibility of engineering information, better understanding it, and making judgments about the appropriateness of its use for a particular design task. The presented research attempts to answer how the proposed traceability methodology and framework could help designers to improve communication, eventually create new channels of communication, and contribute to the creation of shared understanding in collaborative design
more » ... rocesses. The discussion of these issues is based on a literature review, empirical research, observations of industrial practice, and feedback from initial implementation. The research is focused on information objects (IOs), archetypically represented in the engineering domain as technical documents that are often complex structures constituted of textual, numerical, and graphical fragments. The presented approach is based on an abstraction of IOs' relationships organized around specific contexts that are defined by a subset of product development ontology. Each IO could be repeatedly represented in various contexts that may contain different subsets of objects and their relationships. Such a representation also acts as a container in which the ontology concept instances are associated with IOs being developed and traced during the design episode. The usage of the proposed traceability methodology is discussed with examples of implementation and possible utilization situations. The paper is focused on explaining how the developed functionalities could help to resolve manifestations of inadequate information flow, which cause communication barriers in engineering companies. In addition, the proposed traceability methodology offers the possibility to record the detailed history of actions and events associated with IOs in the usage process of the product life cycle management systems. Based on the research findings, this paper argues that such a network of the traceability links and relationships may be viewed as a novel design communication channel.
doi:10.1017/s0890060413000012 fatcat:pppfyqkcvzeotfwbrtcn4xewzq