Title: An expert system for the preliminary design of timber roofs
Journal Title: Computers & Structures
Publication Date: 1991
Start Page: 115
End Page: 125
Published online: online 14 February 2003
† Department of Civil Engineering, Brighton Polytechnic, Sussex, U.K.
‡ Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brighton Polytechnic, Sussex, U.K.
§ Information Technology Research Institute, Brighton Polytechnic, Sussex, U.K.
Abstract: ng>expert system to design timber roofs is being produced as part of a project to investigate the process of engineering design. The operations involved in design can be broken down into synthesis and analysis. Analysis can be performed by known and understood methods so the main problem of designing can be identified as that of synthesis. It has been found that most commercially available expert system shells are too restrictive for the development of an engineering design expert system. In order to implement a system that more closely models human thinking, a new shell is being developed in tandem with the timber roof expert system and another concerned with heat exchanger design. This shell is being constructed specifically for engineering design problems. The features in this shell are those that are used by engineers in their reasoning, such as hypothesis proposal and modification, non-monotonicity and the more well established techniques of numeric reasoning, inheritance and the relational modelling of knowledge. These features will be illustrated with reference to the timber roof problem.
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