WPI Computer Science Department

Computer Science Department

Variations on A-Design


Zhuo Chen (zhuo@wpi.edu)
M.S. Thesis, Advisor: Dave Brown


This project investigates a variation of Dr. Matt Campbell's architecture for A-Design. A-Design uses many different types of agents, each with a different purpose, to form a design team that builds a set of configurations of components that are intended to satisfy the problem's requirements.

Construction Agents find possible component types to fill the gaps in the configuration. Construction Agents represent one component or component type, and attach their components wherever possible. Instantiation Agents match up the possible component or components types with actual components from a catalog. This process of creating configurations repeats until there is a substantial population of valid configurations.

The configurations are then evaluated and classified into three quality groups: Pareto, good, and poor. Only Pareto and good configurations are kept. Fragmentation Agents analyze those configurations and discard the components that contribute least toward the design specifications. These fragmented designs are returned to the Construction Agents in the next iteration for reconstruction, and improvement.

Our research proposes the addition of a second layer to A-Design. The original layer uses the search space of configurations of components. The best configuration becomes the design. The second layer will use the search space of configurations of primitives. The best configuration becomes a new component. The design process should decide when it is necessary to create such a component.


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dcb@cs.wpi.edu / Fri Nov 30 18:20:34 EST 2001