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authors Rasdorf, William J. and Fenves, Stephen J.
year 1986
title Constraint Enforcement in a Structural Design Database
source Journal of the Structural Division. American Society of Civil Engineers, December, 1986. vol. 112: pp. 2565-2577
summary During the design of a commercial structure, large amounts of information pertaining to all aspects of the design must be stored, accessed, and operated upon. A database management system (DBMS), composed of a central repository of data and the associated software for controlling accesses to it, provides one way to generate, represent, manage, and use this information. However, DBMSs are not presently structured in such a way that they can flexibly represent complex engineering constraint relationships, including those defined by codes, standards, and specifications. This paper examines structural design constraints and addresses the question of how they can be incorporated into DBMSs. It presents four representations of engineering constraints: the text of a design specification, the equations extracted from the specification, the dependency network among the constrained data items, and a relational DBMS model. The database model was implemented using a commercially available DBMS and the limitations of the implementation are explored. What is new in this DBMS model is that a constraint dependency subnetwork is associated directly with the stored data that it constrains. The implemented result is a new abstraction, consisting of a relation and a set of computations and checks, that enforces the relationships embodied in the dependency network. The database user need only initially define a set of rules and computed attributes. These are then used by the DBMS to automatically perform the appropriate checks and assignments. The database user is, to a significant degree, free of constraint checking concerns because the system itself knows what to do
keywords constraints management, civil engineering, database, DBMS
series CADline
references Content-type: text/plain
last changed 2003/06/02 11:58
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