The How Things Work Project
- Faculty: Richard Fikes, Edward Feigenbaum (on leave),
- Research Associates: Yumi Iwasaki, Robert Engelmore, Adam Farquhar
- Scientific Programmer: James Rice
- Ph.D. Students: Tony Loeser, Todd Neller, Sunil Vemuri
Overall project objective
Develop device modeling and model-based reasoning capabilities that are needed
by product developers working in distributed collaborative teams to develop,
analyze, communicate, coordinate, document, and reuse their designs. In
particular, we are developing:
This project is supported by DARPA under the MADE (Manufacturing Automation and Design Engineering) program.
A collaborative device modeling environment (CDME) that provides languages
and tools for Web-based distributed collaborative development, testing, and
maintenance of ontologies, models, and specifications; and
- An Intelligent Thomas Register which will enable --
- Clients to identify engineering products that satisfy a functional
description (and/or a more traditional structural and behavioral description),
- Vendors to provide models of their products which are self-explaining and
We have started implementation of an initial version of CDME with an HTML/JAVA
user interface which enables it to be used via a World Wide Web browser. We
have also started collaboration with the Satellite Quick Research Testbed
(SQUIRT) team of Stanford's Satellite System Development Laboratory in the
Aeronautics and Astronautics Department to build models of the micro-satellites
being developed by them. As part of that collaboration, we have begun using the
CDME under development in order to construct domain theories of various domains
relevant to microsatellites and models of subsystems of their second-generation
microsatellite, called OPAL. The subsystems being modeled include the power
subsystem, the pico-satellite launch mechanism, and the stepper motor used in
the launch mechanism.
Plans for the next 12 months
- Complete implementation of the initial version of CDME. The initial
implementation will include a domain theory library browser, model editor, model
formulator, numerical simulator, explanation facility, and a testing and
debugging facility for providing additional assistance in model construction.
- Expand the capabilities of CDME by designing and implementing the
representation and inferential mechanisms to enable the system to communicate
with several types of foreign models, including models represented in a
different modeling language and simulators built independently.
- Complete initial versions of core domain theories relevant to
micro-satellites as well as models of sample satellite subsystems. These domain
theories and models will be released to the SQUIRT team for use in design
refinement and operational decision making.
- Design a function-based retrieval mechanism, select an initial device domain,
construct an ontology of functions for that domain, and do an initial prototype
implementation of the Intelligent Thomas Register.
Fore more information
Yumi Iwasaki firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 9/4/96