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USER INTERFACE FOR AUTOMATION OF A PRODUCT DESIGN PROCESSES - Ubiquitous Computing and Communication Journal Powered By Docstoc

                                           Dr. Hussein H. Owaied
                   Middle East University for Graduate Studies, Dept. of Computer Science,

                                     Dr. Nidhal Kamel Taha El-Omari
               The World Islamic Sciences and Education University, Dept. of Computer Science,

                                       Dr. Mahmmoud M. Abu-Arr'a
                Philadelphia University, Dept. of Business Networks and Systems Management,

               This paper presents all the required software modules for the user interface of the
               framework model for the automation of product design processes. The proposed
               framework model is based on the behavior of human product designer during the
               design processes of a product and the philosophy of virtual engineering. This
               paper is a continuation of previous works, that have been done in the area of
               knowledge engineering and all are based on the philosophy of functional model of
               human system. This paper concentrates in the main functions of the user interface,
               which are: Editing facilities for Knowledge base, Editing facilities for Technology
               base, and the two modules, Behavior module and Protocols modules. The user
               interface is proposed by studying and analysis of the behavior of the human
               product designer during the design of a new product. Also an architecture for
               expert system proposed for the engineering domain to be used for automation
               product design processes.

               Keywords: Artificial Intelligence,        Knowledge    Engineering,    Information
               Technology, Virtual Engineering.

1   INTRODUCTION                                           On the other hand, to leverage from new horizontal
                                                           business models, manufacturers must embrace
    Books and manuals are two of many resources            collaborative operational techniques facilitated by
for information and have a tremendous amount of            modern technological tools which can be used in the
information but a human is the most important              manufacturing and production processes. Thus, the
Information's resources. Human usually gathering           human product designer mixed his knowledge base
the information through his sensors, interpret them        about that product design with the technology base.
then store them in his long term memory according               The technology base consists of many types of
to certain representation scheme. Once the                 elements that can be used during the designing
information is identified, collected and stored, it        processes of the required product. The first widely
must be transformed into knowledge that also               use of computer within the knowledge base is
integrates the experimental level of a human who           through assistance for engineering served drawing,
worked in a specified area.                                calculations, data storage, and documentations
    Manufacturing today requires an unprecedented          printing activities. Then the modeling tools in the
degree of collaboration, coordination and                  industry applied CAD/CAM systems for designing a
consistency among people to facilitate modern              product and for controlling manufacturing processes.
technologies in designing the required product             The use of computer system by engineers shows a
according to a given set of predefined specifications.     mechanical part in three dimensions allowing the
To make workflow-based design usually human use            engineer to develop or modify its model or to include
more facility and efficient activities and are done        it in an assembly structure. In the other hand human
through general-purpose knowledge sharing.                 knowledge, skill, and experience can be utilized in
                                                           an interactive communication with the computer
system that is capable of creating a model                optimum solution is the first one of that specified
description by utilizing the knowledge, skill, and        order. Note that the same solution might take
experience of human if can be programmed [1].             different courses of actions to solve a specific
     As the final goal of Artificial Intelligence is      problem. Moreover, based upon previously return
building an intelligent machine, the goal of the          results, the same solution may be automatically
proposed user interface philosophy is the building of     adjusted before applied. Furthermore, the order of
the Knowledge and Technology bases. This                  the list of possible solutions may also be changed
intelligent machine (Robot) must have certain             according to these previously return results.
compatibilities such as behaving like a human being            To end with, we define knowledge base as a
in acquiring information through analyzing data and       machine readable and interpretable collection of
abstract information toward solving complex               information and a Knowledge-based system as a
unstructured problems. Therefore, we want to come         software system that facilitates acquisition and
across software that emulates the interaction of the      maintenance of knowledge. On the other hand, we
human in Knowledge and Technology bases to work           define Technology base as a machine readable and
out a specific problem. This paper is a continuation      interpretable collection of technologies and a
of previous work and all are based on the philosophy      Technology-based system as a software system that
of functional model of human system [2].                  facilitates acquisition and maintenance of
     The proposed philosophy can come through a           technology. This software can be used in the virtual
selection of a single solution or a list of possible      engineering activities as shown in Fig. 1 [3].
solutions in a previously specified order. The near-

          Testing                          Product design                           Marketing

         Costing                           Manufacturing                           Distribution

                                             Production                                   Sales

                                       Control of equipment                         Customer

                         Virtual engineering                                 Market related activities

                        Figure 1: Engineering Activities in the Virtual Engineering [3]

2   THE ARCHITECTURE OF AUTOMATION                        CAD/CAM system and other systems that have been
    THE DESIGN PROCESSES OF PRODUCTS                      used by the designers to complete the task of
                                                          designing a product [5].
    Fig. 2 presents the proposed architecture as
Technology and Knowledge-Based System [4]. The            2.1 Inference Engine
proposed architecture is based on the behavior of the         The inference engine mechanism is playing the
human designer (human product designer) during the        most important role in the construction of functional
design of a required product according to the given       model of human System. It is regarded as a
specifications.                                           combination of problem solving methodologies,
    Usually at present there are many tools such as       search techniques, and reasoning agents. Its
implementation depends on the representation                      methods, nor general search techniques are easy to
schemes used for knowledge base and technology                    be used in any field of engineering.
    The searching techniques are used by the                      2.2 The knowledge and Technology Bases
problem solver to search both knowledge base and                       The knowledge base and technology base
technology base for the required knowledge and                    represent the repository of designing a specified type
required technology according to the assertions given             of products in narrow domain of engineering, such as
by the end user. These searching techniques are                   electronic engineering, or mechanical engineering.
depending on the representation schemes adapted by                     The implementation of knowledge base depends
both the knowledge base and technology base.                      on the representation forms of the knowledge and
                                                                  usually there are many forms used by human which
                                                                  are may be applied, but the used for this purpose are
        User Interface                                            limited such as: rule base, semantic nets, frame, logic
                                                                  forms, and so on.
                                                                       0n the other hand, the implementation of
        Protocols Module                                          technology base can be regarded as special type of
                                                                  database which consist of all the necessary
                                                                  characteristics of a technology which are mention in
        Behavior Module                                           section 1. Each Technology will be represented as a
                                                                  file which consists of all the attributes required
                                                                  together with a link to its picture. The design and
         Editing Facilities                                       implementation of this special type of database
          for Knowledge                                           system is a sophisticated system that should deal
                                           Working Memory

             Base and                                             with multimedia types and multimedia sources. The
         Technology Base                                          reason of using multimedia types and sources
                                                                  because the characteristics of any Technology can be
                                                                  stored in the Technology base such as: Text, Graph,
                                                                  Picture, Numerical data, and Links. So the most
                                                                  important parts of the proposed system are the
        Inference Engine                                          Knowledge base and the Technology base and the
                                                                  power of any Knowledge and Technology-based
                                                                  system is depend on the adequate and the integration
                                                                  of Knowledge base and the Technology base
                                                                  representation formats used for a particular domain.
         Knowledge Base                                           In this sense, the most important phase in building
              And                                                 technology-base system is the building of the
         Technology Base                                          knowledge base and the technology base; this
                                                                  process is part of knowledge engineering which is an
                                                                  important field at the present century.

Figure 2: Architecture        of   Technology               and   2.3 The Working Memory
Knowledge-Based System.                                               The working memory is the place where all the
                                                                  activities of the inference engine have to be done;
     The reasoning agent is responsible to accept                 these activities are [4]:
sophisticated queries concerning some specific                    • The applications of the used problem solving
product model and to execute appropriate automated                  methods, the reasoning agent, and the searching
tasks. This service is provided by a special                        techniques.
application programming interface mechanism                       • The processes of the editing facilities for the
provided in the user interface which introduces a set               knowledge base and the technology base.
of fundamental data types that can be coherently                  • The processes of the prototype designing of the
used for various complex queries and assertions [6].                required product.
Its goal is to enable the packaging of any supported              • The processes of the final design of the product.
data definitions by a simple representation. Its power
can be increased by implementing a larger number of               2.4 User Interface
solvers and by enhancing their capabilities to solve                  The user interface, also known as human
complex tasks [7].                                                computer interface, is the aggregate of means by
     However, collecting information from workflow                which people (users) interacts with the system. This
knowledge and technology is not an easy way.                      system may be a particular machine, device,
Unfortunately, neither general problem solving                    computer program or other complex tool.
    The user interface is proposed by studying and           about the required information that to be passed
analyzing of the behavior of the human product               between the two stages.
designer during the design of a new product. The
user interface for automation of a products design       2.4.3 The Editing Facilities for Knowledge and
processes consists of three modules that will be         Technology Bases
described in the following subsections.                       Usually the updating facilities are the insert of
                                                         new knowledge or technology into its base or
2.4.1 The Behavior Module                                changing or deleting the previously stored one. All
     These modules simulate the human designer           these updating facilities are applied according to the
communications activities with the environment,          given request by the end user. Each one of these two
during the designing of a specific product. These        parts of the proposed system are special program, its
activities are presented as the following modules:       main task is to deal with the updating facilities of the
1. Calling a specific software package module: the       knowledge or technology base through the
   function of this module is to select the specific     interaction with the end user. Obviously, the editing
   software package according to the product             facilities for the knowledge are different than the
   specifications.                                       editing facilities for the technology base. Each
2. Capturing the product specifications module: the      program should be cooperate between the user
   function of this module is capturing the parameters   interface modules, which are discussed in sections
   for product specifications.                           2.4.1 and 2.4.2, and its knowledge base
3. Observing the new knowledge and then updating         representation schemes, which are discussed in
   module: the function of this module observing the     section 2.2.
   new knowledge and then updating the existing               The design and implementation of the
   knowledge base accordingly.                           knowledge program is a sophisticated system that
4. Observing the new technology and then updating        should be based on the knowledge base
   module: the function of this module observing the     representation scheme used in the knowledge base
   new technology and then updating the existing         and in cooperative with the problem solving
   technology base accordingly.                          methodology and searching techniques used in the
5. Communication with the next step: this activity is    inference engine. Alternatively, the design and
   required for manufacturing in the virtual             implementation of this technology program is a
   engineering module as seen in Fig. 1.                 sophisticated system that should deal with editing
                                                         deferent multimedia types and multimedia sources.
2.4.2 The Protocols Modules
     The protocols modules provide means of              3    APPLICATION
languages used between the others modules. The
protocols modules can have many formats, these               Since the structure of the proposed system is as a
formats are:
                                                         simulation of the human product designer during the
1. Software Calling Format: Format for calling           design of a required product according to the given
   software packages, in which one of them can be
                                                         requirements, therefore the applications of the
   passing the parameters for drawing the shape of
                                                         proposed system is in the areas where human product
   product (production sheet).                           designer works. However, the proposed system can
2. Specifications Format: Format for entering the
                                                         be used as a core part for different real life
   product specifications which can be as production
                                                         applications in engineering domain. In this context
   sheet.                                                the application areas vary from one area to another
3. Technologies Format: Format for the observing
                                                         such as electrical engineering, mechanical
   new technologies which can be in two forms, one
                                                         engineering, civil engineering, and can be in any area
   for passing the characteristics of the new            of designing product.
   technology to the CAD system to produce its
                                                             In all of the above areas, the human works is
   shape and the other one for passing the drawing of
                                                         regular and traditional, but there are some of the
   the new technology to the editing facilities of       human designers are expert in their specialized area.
   technology base, or updating the existing one.        The specialty of them usually in specific and narrow
4. Knowledge Format: Format for observing new
                                                         domain of engineering, and they are different from
   knowledge also can be in two forms, one for           others colleagues in their line of deduction and their
   representing the new knowledge in the knowledge
                                                         decision making abilities. These abilities can be
   base and the other one for updating the existing
                                                         added to the proposed technology and knowledge-
   knowledge.                                            based system to become expert system.
5. Communication Format: this format consists of all
                                                             Therefore, the definition of expert system
   the information and data required to communicate      according to this philosophical view is Technology
   between the design process and the manufacturing      and Knowledge-based system with the facilities of
   stages. In other words, this format is responsible
                                                         correctly deduct and correctly making decision. In
other words, it is the Technology and Knowledge-             expert system to be applied in the domain of
based system with the facilities of answering the            automation of a product processes will be as shown
questions WHY and HOW correctly [7].                         in Fig. 3. These expert systems are represented as
    Consequently, the proposed new architecture for          sophisticated software within the computer system.

                                              User Interface
           Behavior               Protocols               Editing Facilities        Editing Facilities
           Module                 Modules                  for Knowledge             for Technology
                                                                Base                      Base

                                                        Inference Engine

                                                                                                 Working Memory

                                                        Knowledge Base
            Making                                      Technology Base

                              Figure 3: Architecture of Proposed Expert System

                                                                 6, pp. 460–464 (2005).
4   CONCLUSION                                               [2] Owaied H. Hussein, Abu-Arr’a M. Mahmoud:
                                                                 Functional Model of Human System as a
     The proposed philosophical view is based on                 knowledge Base System, The 2007 International
scenario of the behavior of the human product                    Conference on Information & Knowledge
designer during the design of a required product                 Engineering, pp. 158-16, June 25-28, (2007).
according to the given requirements. This system is a        [3] Horvath Laszlo, Rudas Imare J.: Modeling and
proposed architecture of software that can be used in            Problem Solving Techniques for Engineers,
the virtual engineering activities in the future. The            Elsevier academic press, (2004).
user interface is proposed by studying and analyzing         [4] Abu-Arr’a M , Mahmoud Owaied H. Hussein:
of the behavior of the human product designer during             An Architecture of Technology and Knowledge-
the design of a new product. Therefore, the user                 based System for Automating the Products
interface for automation of a products design                    Design Processes, The 2008 International
processes introduced as three modules, which are the             Conference on Information & Knowledge
editing knowledge base and technology base                       Engineering, pp. 159-164, July 17,(2008).
modules, behavior module, and the protocols                  [5] S.Y. Harmon, C.W. Hoffman, A.J Gonzalez, R.
modules. Also an architecture for expert system                  Knauf, V.B. Barr, Validation of Human
proposed in the domain automation of a product                   Behavior Representation, (2001).
design processes.                                            [6] Alexander Gehre, Peter Katranuschkov: Human
                                                                 Centered Knowledge-Based Model Access
5   REFERENCES                                                   Service for Engineers, International Council for
                                                                 Research Innovation in CIB w78 Conference
[1] Gregory N. Ranky, Paul G. Ranky: Japanese                    (2002).
    Prototype Service Robot R&D Trends and                   [7] O’Shea, T.: Intelligent Knowledge Based
                                                                 Systems, Harper & Row, (1987).
    Examples, Industrial Robot, Volume 32, Number

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