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Title: Knowledge based techniques in plant design for safety
Author: Waters, Anthony
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1991
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This thesis is concerned with computer support for the Loss Prevention activities that take place during process design. The scope is deliberately wide because the central problem is to 'get the design right'. This in turn requires consideration of 'What is a good design?' and 'How can one represent designs computationally?'. Added to this are strategic issues of how a plant design should proceed and how safety techniques can best be integrated into the overall design structure. Thus one needs to addresss both the fundamental questions concerning the nature of reasoning and the database/communication problems of managing a large design project. An example problem from each area is explored in this thesis, which has a common introduction but then divides into two parts. The first part is devoted to 'bottom-up qualitative reasoning', which tries to predict system behaviour without performing detailed numerical simulations. The aim was to capture the sorts of reasoning that a HAZOP team might do whilst working through a set of failure scenarios. This problem is addressed both by the use of rules to directly represent causality and by the use of qualitative simulation, which is a technique from Artificial Intelligence (AI). The inferencing power of the latter approach is shown to be far superior but severe efficiency problems do result. The second part addresses the problem of checking the validity and satisfaction of designer's intention, at all stages of design. To explore this the author has extended the features of an AI toolkit called Knowledge Craft, in order to allow its use as a Database Management System for design knowledge. The resulting software is called The Constraint Tools System, which has three main components: 1. The Constraint System, which is used to create constraints and to control their application throughout the design process. 2. The Propagating-relation System, which is used to specify mappings in data sharing situations and to automatically update equivalent values. 3. The Refinement Manager, which uses Knowledge Craft contexts to represent hierarchical design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available