Assessment of features technology

J. J. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

322 Scopus citations


Features encapsulate the engineering significance of portions of the geometry of a part or assembly, and, as such, are important in product design, product definition, and reasoning, for a variety of applications. Feature-based systems have demonstrated some potential in creating attractive design environments and in automating the geometric reasoning required in applications such as process planning and manufacturability evaluation. The paper reviews the major concepts and approaches that are in use in feature-based modelling. Several methodologies are prevalent for creating feature models and databases. These fall broadly into the categories of interactive definition, automatic recognition/extraction, and design by features. Within each, there are several subcategories, which are discussed and compared in the paper. Also presented are several schemes popular for representing features. They include augmented graphs, syntactic strings in grammars, and objects in object-oriented programming. Feature interactions and validation issues are outlined. Attempts at developing feature taxonomies are also summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-343
Number of pages13
JournalComputer-Aided Design
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1991


  • features
  • geometric modeling
  • intelligent CAD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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