Summary of Research Project Results under JSPS FY2001
"Research for the Future Program"

1.Research Institution Osaka University
2.Research Area Physical and Engineering Sciences
3.Research Field Science of Synthesis
4.Term of Project FY 1997 〜 FY 2001
5.Project Number 97P00701
6.Title of Project A Methodology of Collaborative Synthesis by Artificial Intelligence

7.Project Leader
Name Institution,Department Title of Position
Riichiro Mizoguchi Osaka University, The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research Professor

8.Core Members

Names Institution,Department Title of Position
Eiji Arai Osaka University, Graduate School of Engineering Professor
Masahiko Onosato Osaka University, Graduate School of Engineering Associate Professor
Tadataka Konishi Chugoku Polytechnic College President

9.Summary of Research Results

The goal of the project is to explicate the synthetic knowledge used by designers through AI technology, to systematize it and to demonstrate the utility of such knowledge systematized. The results obtained are summarized as follows:
(1) Employing ontological engineering, seven-layer-concept/knowledge hierarchy has been developed as a framework for functional knowledge systematization which is grounded onto the physical world and successfully evaluated by deploying it into a production division of a company to share engineering know-how about their production lines among engineers.
(2) Some amount of knowledge such as functional knowledge, constraints among physical states, operations and design rationale has been described according to the framework and evaluated by implementing them in redesign, usability verification and physical constraint satisfaction modules.
(3) An interactive design support system composed of all the functional modules mentioned above has been implemented and has been successfully evaluated using two concrete examples: a handy printer for domestic use and a washing machine. This shows the interoperability and utility of the several categories of knowledge systematized.
The deployment of the knowledge systematization framework into the real-world was an unexpected success of our project. The framework has been built through four-year study on fundamental conceptual structure of functional knowledge using ontological engineering, which is almost the first serious ontological investigation on function in the world. We believe the fact that such a basic research has ended up with a successful deployment is what RFTF Program aims at.

10.Key Words

(1)Synthetic knowledge、(2)Functional knowledge、(3)Ontological engineering
(4)Knowledge systematization、(5)Causal ontology、(6)Physical world ontology
(7)Design rationale management、(8)Redesign of functional structure