Reference: Gruber, T. R. & Russell, D. M. Design Knowledge and Design Rationale: A Framework for Representation, Capture, and Use. Technical Report, Knowledge Systems Laboratory, Stanford University, July 27, 1990.
Abstract: Knowledge about the rationale for a design-how and why a device is designed as it is-can be valuable, but is difficult to capture in reusable form. This paper presents a view of design knowledge capture and the use of design knowledge for design rationale. We define design rationales as explanations in response to questions about the desgin. These explanations are generated from knowledge of artifacts and design activities. We characterize design activity in terms of observable changes to design descriptions, and present a theory of design knowledge in the form of an ontology of concepts about design descriptions and operations on them. The theory unifies artifact description and decision-making views of design. Based on the theory, we characterize different methods of acquiring design knowledge and design rationale in the context of integrated design support environments. We then analyze in depth two design knowledge capture techniques: a semiformal representation tool and a model-based explanation system, and we explain their functions and how they work.
Full paper available as hqx, ps.