An `AI in Design' View of Design
System Architecture


Does the system include any knowledge acquisition tools?
Are there any tools available for internal consistency checking?
Does it allow for functional extensions?

Discussion. Besides learning, design systems can be extended by allowing users to add new knowledge. Knowledge acquisition tools make this task easier, by converting the information given by the user into an internal format. In one scenario, the new knowledge is required by the system during problem solving due to there being insufficient information to develop a solution. Alternatively, new knowledge can be inserted by the user whenever it becomes available. It is important to ensure that, whatever information is provided to the system for future use, the system preserves its internal consistency. Contradictory knowledge may generate failures in the design process, and, possibly, low quality designs. Distributed design systems represent an exception, as contradictions expressing different points of view are solved by conflict resolution components. Functional extensions allow the user to customize the system to the specific needs dictated by the type of problem to be solved. They also allow for the update of the system based on new functional requirements resulting from new design types.

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