The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

Research Paper #565

Title:Development of a Knowledge Based Design Support System
Authors:Floyd,C; Hodgkin,E; Smithers,T; Tang,M; Tomes,N; Buck,P; Clarke,B; Lloyd,G; Poulter,K
Date: 1991
Presented:An invited paper for the Knowledge Based Systems Journal, March, 1992
Abstract:The AI in Design Research Programme at the University of Edinburgh has been developing a notion of design which is fundamentally different from others in the field. Focussing on creative design across a number of domains, it has developed a model of design as an exploratory activity rather than as a form of search. Exploration of a design problem's characteristics is an activity which creates and bounds the space within which possible design solutions can be located. Seeing design as an exploration and mapping of parameter space highlights the inherent complexity of the creative design process and has implications for the specification of knowledge based design systems. The resulting design philosophy places the human designer at the heart of the exploration process with the computer system, using integrated AI techniques, acting to support him throughout the design process. The Castlemaine project has adopted the philosophy of design support, evaluating the model of design exploration within the domain of pharmaceutical small molecule design through the specification of a knowledge based design support system. This paper describes the background to the Castlemaine project, the research programme and the status of the project in 1991.

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