A BLACKBOARD DATABASE MODEL OF THE DESIGN PLANNING PROCESS IN CONCURRENT ENGINEERING
The basis for an intelligent decision support system for design process planning within a concurrent engineering (CE) environment is the efficient utilization and coordination of planning knowledge that resides within computerized workgroups of multidisciplinary experts. A systems approach may be taken to derive, represent, and utilize the many models of reasoning that might support a human-centric view of planning in a distributed environment. The blackboard database (BB) provides a suitable framework for utilizing these models in a structured manner by representing the planning problem as a loosely coupled hierarchy of partial problems along with the knowledge needed to progressively solve different parts of this problem. This article discusses the development of such a BB system, which is intended to provide the ability to experiment with various control and domain strategies in order to yield insight into more developed and intelligent methods to assist humans in planning the CE design process.
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