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Design support to determine the range of design parameters by qualitative reasoning

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4 Author(s)
Ohki, M. ; Central Res. Lab., Hitachi Ltd., Tokyo, Japan ; Shinjo, H. ; Oohira, E. ; Abe, M.

We present a new application of qualitative reasoning to design: suggesting valid ranges for design parameters after the structure has been determined. This design step is implemented by using an envisioning mechanism that uses qualitative reasoning to determine all possible behaviors of a system. Our method finds all possible behaviors by envisioning with design parameters whose values are initially indeterminate and with whatever specifications the designer has. If several behaviors are found, the designer selects the ones he prefers. The design-support system Desq (design support system based on qualitative reasoning) is based on an earlier qualitative reasoning system Qupras (qualitative physical reasoning system) with three improvements: envisioning, propagating new constraints on constant parameters, and solving constraint in parallel. Like Qupras, the Desq system can deal with quantities qualitatively and quantitatively. Therefore, if the parameters can be expressed quantitatively, we may be able to determine the quantitative ranges, which are often more useful than qualitative values

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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 5 )