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authors Rasdorf, William J. and Watson, Bruce R.
year 1987
title A Knowledge-Based Approach to Engineering Information Retrieval and Management
source London, UK: Chapman and Hall Ltd., 1987. pp. 267-295
summary Building design, construction, operation, maintenance, and control are all processes that have achieved various levels of computer use. Although the degree of computerization varies significantly, one common aspect of the computing needs of each process is an abundance of data in the form of tables, standards, project definition information, catalogs, etc. In most cases this data is stored in files which are independently used for input to stand-alone single-process application programs, such as a structural analysis application. The utility of these independent files is therefore limited to a single application. As concepts of integration of engineering applications evolved, the use of databases and database management systems (DBMS) increased. A number of issues of significant concern emerged. First, there is a need to retrieve data from many independent, possibly widely distributed databases. Second, there is a need for a uniform means of doing so. Third, such databases routinely undergo dynamic change. Changes in a database schema commonly result from the evolution of a design, from changes in the design process itself, and from changes in other subsequent downstream processes. Such continuing changes must be reflected in the database schemas and they subsequently require that application programs be updated and that online users be educated on a continuing basis. This chapter describes a knowledge-based expert system that provides access to and integration of the many underlying databases needed to support the building design/construction process. The unique aspect of the expert system presented in this chapter is its capture of the knowledge that an experienced human user incorporates in his search for data in a database, i.e., it seeks to identify and use the generic knowledge needed to operate a DBMS to retrieve data. This knowledge is used by the interface to enable both the online users and the application programs to request data without knowing the data's location or precisely how to ask for it. Further, the interface makes use of mechanisms that allow the user to request data without knowing the exact name by which it is stored in the database. In doing so it formalizes the levels of complexity of that knowledge and points out the multidisciplinary applications of the research results
keywords civil engineering, knowledge base, database, expert systems
series CADline
references Content-type: text/plain
last changed 2003/06/02 08:24
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