Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Computer Science Department

Proposal for a Masters Thesis


This thesis would study the intersection of Design History (DH) research with Database Design research. Design History techniques have been developed to maintain a computerized record of the reasons for a design in the areas of Mechanical and Electrical design. A DH records the reasons for every decision which contributed to the design, as well as recording the alternatives and the reasons for rejecting them. Database designs also need to be recorded, as having the reasons for a design decision available may be able to prevent unwise future changes in the design. Maintaining a DH may also allow the use of expert systems that automatically check any suggested changes to the design.

The work would consist of an extensive literature review, an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the design history methods when applied to the area of database design, some predictions about areas where these DH methods might be useful, and a demonstration project which incorporates some of the most promising techniques. Suitable preparation for the thesis would be a knowledge of, or at least interest in, AI and Databases.

Profs. 	David Brown  & 	Nabil Hachem 
	FL 131 		FL 138 
	831-5618 	831-5669 
	dcb@cs.wpi.edu 	hachem@cs.wpi.edu