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By Christopher Tong (Eds.)

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Design problems are ill-structured in that the mapping of desired functionality onto a (physical) structure that correctly implements it is generally not straightforward. , generate-and-test) will be neces­ sary. Finally, the design problem representation itself may begin its life as an illstructured set of "requirements" and only gradually (enabled by feedback from actual design experience) evolve into a set of formal "specifications". For the purposes of this book, w e have described Artificial Intelligence as a discipline that provides a multi-level methodology for engineering knowledgebased problem-solving systems.

In the TLA system, the user selects a linkage from a case database of four-bar linkages, INTRODUCTION 35 looking for those that have features resembling the problem specifications. Op­ timization techniques are then used to adapt the known case to the current problem; user intervention helps such techniques avoid getting stuck in local minima. Joskowicz (Volume Π, Chapter 13) also describes an approach to kinematic synthesis. Mechanisms, retrieved from either a catalog or a case database, are considered during artifact redesign.

Figure 1-4: Over the Wall Engineering INTRODUCTION 43 Several companies have addressed the above problem by resorting to a more flexible methodology, which involves a collaborative effort during the entire life cycle of 2the product. It is claimed (Business Week, April 1990) that this approach results in reduced development times, fewer engineering changes, and better overall quality. The importance of this approach has been recognized by the Department of Defense, which initiated a major effort — the DARPA Initia­ tive in Concurrent Engineering (DARPA DICE) - with funding in the millions of dollars.

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