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authors Fenves, Stephen J. and Rasdorf, William J.
year 1985
title Treatment of Engineering Design Constraints in a Relational Database
source Engineering with Computers. Springer-Verlag, Spring, 1985. vol. 1: pp. 27-37. includes bibliography
summary A major aspect of engineering design is the formulation, application, evaluation, and satisfaction of design constraints. The ability to represent and process a wide variety of such constraints is a necessary ingredient of an engineering design database. This is especially true in databases integrating several design processes, where the database management system must serve as an active design agent performing many of the consistency and integrity checks that are currently done manually. This paper presents a mechanism for representing and processing engineering design constraints. The mechanism can be used for checking that constraints are satisfied as well as for deriving attribute values that satisfy the applicable constraints. Furthermore, the mechanism provides flexibility in sequencing the enforcement of constraints by allowing new constraints to be applied to a preexisting state of the database as well as to all subsequent operations on the database. In both these respects, the mechanism proposed appears to have applications beyond engineering design. The mechanism presented handles a broad class of single-relation, single-tuple constraints typical in engineering design applications. Instead of relying on normalization where possible, to remove functional dependencies, the mechanism incorporates new attributes that represent the status (satisfied or violated) of each constraint, thereby increasing the functional dependence of the relation. Consequently, passive constraint checking can be readily extended to active assignment of attribute values that automatically satisfy constraints. A prototype system implementing many of the components presented has been programmed in Pascal. In addition, portions of the system were implemented using the Relational Information Management (RIM) system, a commercially available DBMS
keywords civil engineering, design, knowledge, relational database, CAE, constraints management
series CADline
references Content-type: text/plain
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