The design exemplar: A new data structure for embodiment design automation

Joshua D. Summers, Bernie Bettig, Jami J. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A key issue in developing new intelligent computer aided design and manufacturing tools (CAD/CAM) is knowledge representation. Engineering knowledge has been represented in many forms, such as rule sets, design procedures, features, frames, and semantic networks. Some of these are domain dependent, some are query dependent, and some require specialized inferencing engines or solving algorithms, thus providing a severe limitation for exchange and re-use of design knowledge. A standard representation structure that is capable of encapsulating different types of knowledge would be a useful tool. The design exemplar provides a standard representation of mechanical engineering design problem knowledge based upon a canonically derived set of entities and relationships. The data structure of the design exemplar facilitates four basic design tasks: pattern matching, property extraction, design validation, and change propagation. This paper shows that it is possible to map the design exemplar to other representations (procedures, rules, and features). The concept of integrating atomic design exemplars into composite networks for performing complex design tasks is also introduced as a tool for developing and applying the design exemplar in engineering design automation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-787
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design - Transactions of the ASME
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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