Special Issue on ``AI in Design''
April & June 1997


David C. Brown, 
Computer Science Department,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA 01609, USA

phone:  (508) 831-5618
FAX:    (508) 831-5776

William P. Birmingham,
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

phone: (313) 936-1590
FAX:   (313) 763-1503


This special issue of IEEE Expert is intended to provide a view of the state-of-the-art of research in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Design.

AI in Design includes the modelling of designer activity, the representation of designer knowledge, and the construction of either systems that produce designs or systems that act as assistants to designers.

This is an area known by various terms, including AI in Design (AID), Knowledge Based Design Systems (KBDS), Intelligent CAD (IntCAD or ICAD), and Knowledge Integrated CAD (KIC). Areas of related work include concurrent engineering, simultaneous engineering, and concurrent design.

Researchers in AI in Design normally utilize existing AI techniques, but the task of design (as opposed to, say, diagnosis), and the domains in which design is being done (e.g., computer design; bridge design), influence the way in which these techniques are used. This task/domain context is also starting to reveal new uses for existing techniques, and is providing a catalyst for the invention of new ones.

For example, in a Case Based Reasoning (CBR) approach to design the adaptation of a retrieved design may be more complex than in most other applications of CBR, and may require new methods, due to the many dependencies between the design decisions that make up the design.

This special issue consists of a set of invited papers from experts in the field. The papers present some of the current "hot" topics in AI in Design. They will describe the "cutting edge" of research in this area.

Although this special issue will not include papers about any current applications of AI in Design in detail, the issue is still of great relevance to those people interested in the applications of AI. The issue is of particular interest and use to a variety of readers: anyone who is building applications in this area; anyone wishing to start work in some branch of AI in Design; and anyone already working in one of the topic areas. Those wishing to review some of the recent AI in Design applications can follow up on the references provided.

This concise snapshot should be of great utility, as it provides a summary of the area that's current, concise (i.e., not spread throughout a conference proceedings), and is written by experts in the area. The state-of-the-art view provides readers with references to recent work on each topic.

Some of the design-related topics included will be: Configuration; Functional Reasoning; Case Based Reasoning; Constraint-based design; and Learning in Design.

The last time a journal attempted to show a view of the state-of-the-art of AI to Design was in the AI Magazine, AAAI, Winter 1990, edited by J. S. Gero & M. L. Maher. This special issue will bring the reader up-to-date.; Mon Dec 11 21:45:33 EST 1995