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Automated knowledge capture in 2D and 3D design environments

Ritchie, James M. and Sung, R. and Rea, H. and Lim, T. and Corney, J.R. and Salamon, Csaba and Howley, I. (2008) Automated knowledge capture in 2D and 3D design environments. In: 2nd International Workshop Virtual Manufacturing VirMan 08 as part of the 5th INTUITION International Conference: Virtual Reality in Industry and Society: From Research to Application, 2008-10-06 - 2008-10-08.

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In Life Cycle Engineering, it is vital that the engineering knowledge for the product is captured throughout its life cycle in a formal and structured manner. This will allow the information to be referred to in the future by engineers who did not work on the original design but are wanting to understand the reasons that certain design decisions were made. In the past, attempts were made to try to capture this knowledge by having the engineer record the knowledge manually during a design session. However, this is not only time-consuming but is also disruptive to the creative process. Therefore, the research presented in this paper is concerned with capturing design knowledge automatically using a traditional 2D design environment and also an immersive 3D design environment. The design knowledge is captured by continuously and non-intrusively logging the user during a design session and then storing this output in a structured eXtensible Markup Language (XML) format. Next, the XML data is analysed and the design processes that are involved can be visualised by the automatic generation of IDEF0 diagrams. Using this captured knowledge, it forms the basis of an interactive online assistance system to aid future users who are carrying out a similar design task.