An `AI in Design' View of Design

Direction of Processing

Characterize the direction of the design developing process.

Discussion. Top-down reasoning is most often used in association with decomposition procedures. It implies working from a very abstract object or concept to more refined components. This type of reasoning is characterized as goal-driven, since it decomposes abstract goals into more concrete goals. Bottom-up reasoning starts from the available facts, which it tries to assemble into higher level entities. It is often called data-driven reasoning. The hybrid-opportunistic technique combines the previous two methods. When it is convenient, further decomposition is performed to generate more specific goals. Whenever sufficient data is available, new conclusions are drawn and new higher level facts are established [Stefik 1981a] [Stefik 1981b].

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