Special Issue of AI EDAM: Function Modelling: Benchmark Models, Problems, and Approaches (Sep 2016)

Website: CEDAR Deadline for full paper submission: 1 September 2016 Guest Editors: Joshua D. Summers, Claudia Eckert, Chiradeep Sen, Sr...

Website: CEDAR
Deadline for full paper submission: 1 September 2016

Guest Editors: Joshua D. Summers, Claudia Eckert, Chiradeep Sen, Srinivasan Venkataraman, Matt Bohm

This special issue provides a justification and a proposed research direction for establishing a common benchmarking scheme for function representations that are developed and deployed throughout academia and practice with the ultimate goal of providing industry with practically usable functional modelling tools and concepts. This is based on work presented in the International Conference on Engineering Design in 2013 [1]. Despite decades of research into functional descriptions [2–27], industry has not appeared to have incorporated functional modelling in practice while still proclaiming a need to express product information beyond form. Possible reasons contributing to this resistance might be that there is not yet a canonical definition of function, each approach being grounded in different conceptualizations or that there might be multiple distinct concepts with shared terminology. Researchers and practitioners have proposed many different views of function in engineering design [26,28–32]. These views have resulted in many different approaches to model information about a product’s functionality. For example, several design textbooks talk about using function-flow networks to capture the sequence and dependencies for the desired functionality of a product or system [3,33–35]. Rather than develop a single, unified definition of function, we assert that each approach has its own strengths and weaknesses; each approach is useful and are particularly well suited for different reasoning applications and domains yet the transference across these being difficult at best. Therefore, we are proposing a different approach to function research; by developing a set of comparative benchmarks that can be explored with the different modelling approaches, the community can start to discern which approaches are more useful for different needs, and perhaps to discover which elements of the representations and vocabularies are most conducive for different elements of functional thinking.

To this end, we invite special contributions in any of these three specific areas:

  1. We are seeking papers that present
    1. a function model created within the author’s representation of choice,
    2. a function model(s) using the author’s choice for a given problem from past function benchmarking workshops,
    3. a detailed critique of the approach explaining its capabilities and limitations using the function model(s) for the problem. These are used to demonstrate how a single benchmark problem can be used to compare multiple different modelling approaches.
  2. We are seeking to generate a suite of benchmark challenge problems. To this end, submit papers illustrating design problems for function modelling that can be used to compare function modelling approaches. The problems should be fully detailed in terms of scope, size, and domain, and clearly illustrate the criteria of comparing modelling approaches for which this problem can be used as a benchmark.
  3. We seek papers presenting empirical studies comparing performance of multiple function modelling approaches with respect to select benchmark dimensions of the authors’ choice. For example, you could submit a study comparing the performance of two approaches to support: (1) ease of modelling, (2) human interpretability of models, (3) teachability of modelling approaches, (4) ability to support innovative ideation, (5) physics-based reasoning using the models, or (6) any other dimension(s) of your choice.

Authors are requested to identify a single emphasis area in which their paper should be classified. All submissions will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. The selection for publication will be made on the basis of these reviews. High quality papers not selected for this special issue may be considered for standard publication in AI EDAM. Note that all enquiries and submissions for special issues go to the Guest Editors, and not to the Editor in Chief.


Intend to submit (Abstract & Title): 15 January 2016
Submission deadline for full papers: 1 September 2016
Reviews due: 1 November, 2016
Notification & reviews due to authors: 1 December 2016
Revised version submission deadline: 1 February 2017
Second Reviews due: 1 March 2017
Issue to Publisher: 1 April 2017
Issue Appears: June 2017


Guest Editor
Dr. Joshua D. Summers Department of Mechanical Engineering Clemson University 203 Fluor Daniel EIB Clemson, SC 29634-0921 USA Phone: +1-864-656-3295 Email: jsummer@clemson.edu.

Guest Editor:
Dr. Claudia Eckert Department of Design and Innovation The Open University Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA UK Email: claudia.eckert@open.ac.uk.

Primary Guest Editor for Area 1 (models)
Dr. Matt Bohm Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Louisville 212 Frederic M. Sackett Hall Louisville, KY 40292 USA Phone: +1-502-852-7749 Email: matt.bohm@louisville.edu.

Primary Guest Editor for Area 2 (problems)
Dr. Chiradeep Sen Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, 246 Melbourne, FL 32901 USA Phone: +1-321-674-8781 Email: csen@fit.edu.

Primary Guest Editor for Area 3 (studies)
Dr. Srinivasan Venkatamaran Institute of Product Development Technische Universitat Muchen Boltzmannstr. 15, 85748 Garching b. Muenchen, Germany Phone: +49-89-289 15132 Email: srinivasan.venkataraman@pe.mw.tum.de.


[1] Summers J. D., Eckert C., and Goel A. K., 2013, “Function in Engineering: Benchmarking Representations and Models,” International Conference on Engineering Design, The Design Society, Seoul, South Korea.

[2] Eastman C. M., 1969, “Cognitive Processes and Ill-Defined Problems: A Case Study from Design,” Joint International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Washington, DC, pp. 669–690.

[3] Pahl G., Beitz W., Wallace K., and Blessing L., 2007, Engineering Design: A Systematic Approach, Springer-Verlag London Limited, London.

[4] Collins J. A., Hagan B. T., and Bratt H. M., 1976, “The Failure-Experience Matrix—A Useful Design Tool,” J. Eng. Ind., 98(3), p. 1074.

[5] Freeman P., and Newell A., 1971, “A Model for Functional Reasoning in Design,” Second International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

[6] Rodenacker W., 1971, Methodisches Konstruieren, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany.

[7] Andreasen M. M., and Hein L., 1987, Integrated product development, IFS (Publications), London, UK.

[8] Hubka V., and Eder W. E., 1988, Theory of technical systems: a total concept theory for engineering design, Springer Verlag, New York, NY.

[9] V. Sembugamoorthy, B. Chandrasekaran, Sembugamoorthy V., and Chandrasekaran B., 1986, “Functional Representation of Devices and Compilation of Diagnostic Problem-Solving Systems,” Experience, Memory, and Reasoning, J. Kolodner, and C.K. Riesbeck, eds., Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 47–53.

[10] Ullman D. G., Dietterich T. G., and Stauffer L. A., 1988, “A model of the mechanical design process based on empirical data,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 2(01), pp. 33–52.

[11] Bracewell R. H., and Sharpe J. E. E., 1996, “Functional Descriptions Used in Computer Support for Qualiative Scheme Generation - ‘Schemebuilder,’” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 10, pp. 333–345.

[12] Goel A. K., 1997, “Design, Analogy, and Creativity,” IEEE Intell. Syst., 12(3), pp. 62–70.

[13] Kirschman C. F., and Fadel G. M., 1998, “Classifying Functions for Mechanical Design,” J. Mech. Des., 120(3), p. 475.

[14] Qian L., and Gero J. S., 1996, “Function–behavior–structure paths and their role in analogy-based design,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 10(04), pp. 289–312.

[15] Sasajima M., Kitamura Y., Ikeda M., and Mizoguchi R., 1995, “FBRL: A Function and Behavior Representation Language,” International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Montreal, Canada.

[16] Umeda Y., Ishii M., Yoshioka M., Shimomura Y., and Tomiyama T., 1996, “Supporting Conceptual Design Based on the Function-Behavior-State Modeler,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 10(4), pp. 275–288.

[17] Vescovi M., Iwasaki Y., Fikes R., and Chandrasekaran B., 1993, “CFRL: A Language for Specifying the Causal Functionality of Engineered Devices,” 11th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, American Association for Artificial Intelligence, Washington, DC.

[18] Albers A., Thau S., and Alink T., 2008, “Support of Design Engineering Activity Through C & CM - Temporal Decomposition of Design Problems,” Tools and Methods for Competitive Engineering Conference, I. Horvath, ed., Izmir, Turkey, pp. 295–306.

[19] Chandrasekaran B., 2005, “Representing Function: Relating Functional Representation and Functional Modeling Research Streams,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 19, pp. 65–74.

[20] Erden M. S., Komoto H., van Beek T. J., D’Amelio V., Echavarria E., and Tomiyama T., 2008, “A review of function modeling: Approaches and applications,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 22(02), pp. 147–169.

[21] Gero J., and Kannengiesser U., 2002, “The Situated-Function-Behaviour-Structure Framework,” Artificial Intelligence in Design, J. Gero, ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA, pp. 89–104.

[22] Hirtz J., Stone R., McAdams D., Szykman S., and Wood K., 2002, “A Functional Basis for Engineering Design: Reconciling and Evolving Previous Efforts,” Res. Eng. Des., 13, pp. 65–82.

[23] Linz P., 2011, An Introduction to Formal Languages and Automata, Jones & Bartlett Publishers, Sudberry, MA.

[24] Schultz J., Sen C., Caldwell B., Mathieson J., Summers J. D., and Mocko G. M., 2010, “Limitations to Function Structures: A Case Study in Morphing Airfoil Design,” International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, ASME, Montreal, Canada, pp. DETC2010–28559.

[25] Sen C., Summers J. D., and Mocko G. M., 2011, “A protocol to formalise function verbs to support conservation-based model checking,” J. Eng. Des., 22(11-12), pp. 765–788.

[26] Srinivasan V., Chakrabarti A., and Lindemann U., 2012, “A Framework for Describing Functions in Design,” International Design Conferences, Dubrovnik, Croatia, pp. 1111–1122.

[27] Yang S., Patil L., and Dutta D., 2010, “Function Semantic Representation (FSR): A Rule-Based Ontology for Product Functions,” ASME Trans. J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng., 10, p. 031001.

[28] Deng Y. M., 2002, “Function and behavior representation in conceptual mechanical design,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 16(05), pp. 343–362.

[29] Vermaas P. E., 2013, “On the Co-Existence of Engineering Meanings of Function: Four Responses and Their Methodological Implications,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 27(3), pp. 1–19.

[30] Eckert C., 2013, “That which is not form : the practical challenges in using functional concepts in design,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 27(3), p. to appear.

[31] Crilly N., 2010, “The roles that artefacts play: technical, social and aesthetic functions,” Des. Stud., 31(4), pp. 311–344.

[32] Goel A. K., Rugaber S., and Vattam S., 2009, “Structure, behavior, and function of complex systems: The structure, behavior, and function modeling language,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., 23(01), p. 23.

[33] Ullman D. G., 2010, The Mechanical Design Process, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

[34] Shishko R., and Aster R., 1995, “NASA systems engineering handbook,” NASA Spec. Publ., 6105.

[35] Haskins C., and Forsberg K., 2011, Systems Engineering Handbook: A Guide for System Life Cycle Processes and Activities, Incose.



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The Trouble with Normal...: Special Issue of AI EDAM: Function Modelling: Benchmark Models, Problems, and Approaches (Sep 2016)
Special Issue of AI EDAM: Function Modelling: Benchmark Models, Problems, and Approaches (Sep 2016)
The Trouble with Normal...
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