An `AI in Design' View of Design

Problem-Solving Method

What type of problem-solving method(s) does the system use?

Discussion. The characteristics of the design problem determine to a large extent the type of problem-solving method implemented by the system. Search is a very general method and every design problem can be defined as a search in the space of possible designs [Brown 1997], even if it can't always be implemented in that fashion. This characterization is often applied to configuration design problems [Balkany et al. 1993] [Lee et al. 1992] [Marcus et al. 1992] [McDermott 1982] [Mittal & Frayman 1989] [Wielinga & Schreiber 1997], where the structure allows a clear definition of the states in the search space. Case-based reasoning fits design areas where the possible situations can be covered by a set of typical patterns [Maher & Garza 1997]. Planning is more appropriate for systems which need to target the design process.

The problem-solving method does not refer only to design. Other major processes in the system, like the cooperation between agents in a distributed architecture, or the diagnosis of failures during the design process, can also be characterized by a problem-solving method [Brown 1985] [Latombe 1979] [Marcus et al. 1992].

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