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Title: Software tools for the automatic configuration of complex engineering systems
Author: Kendall, John Michael Patrick
Awarding Body: South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 1993
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Due to the ever increasing complexity of modem engineering systems, there exists a need for a new generation of software tools to cope with all aspects of system lifecycles. One of the stages of the lifecycle is configuration, which is the representation of the system for operational purposes. The thesis describes work done to create a methodology for the automatic configuration of engineering systems by the use of intelligent graphical interfaces. One of the main tenets being that all information is entered into the system by using graphics as the 'front end'. This is in contrast to many current methods where the graphical representation is used only as documentation for the systems. Many systems are too complex to be represented on a single screen, so techniques have therefore been created to construct hierarchical models using Object Oriented technology and relation theory. The principles developed can be considered as generic for many applications areas, but were applied to three case studies in differing engineering fields. These are: the configuration of the controlling processors in building management systems, the configuration of the structure of knowledge based systems and the configuration of databases for use in data exchange systems. The former was achieved by the depiction of the engineering system being configured using a symbol set representing hardware items. The physical and logical connections can be represented on the graphical interface, and the hardware is configured when this diagram is compiled into a form interpretable by the controlling processor. The two latter case studies were implemented using a graphical schema language NIAM (Nijssen Information Analysis Method) to represent information structure. The data transfer system compiles the NIAM diagram into Express, the text based schema language of the ISO 10303 STEP (STandard for the Exchange of Product model data) initiative, which can then be translated into database structure formats. In the case of the expert system, the structure is supported by empirical rules, and deductions are obtained using fuzzy set principles.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available