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Richards, Paul
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
In the developed world we are surrounded by man-made objects, but most people give little thought to the complex processes needed for their design. The design of hand knitting is complex because much of the domain knowledge is tacit. The objective of this thesis is to devise a methodology to help designers to work within design constraints, whilst facilitating creativity. A hybrid solution including computer aided design (CAD) and case based reasoning (CBR) is proposed. The CAD system creates designs using domain-specific rules and these designs are employed for initial seeding of the case base and the management of constraints. CBR reuses the designer's previous experience. The key aspects in the CBR system are measuring the similarity of cases and adapting past solutions to the current problem. Similarity is measured by asking the user to rank the importance of features; the ranks are then used to calculate weights for an algorithm which compares the specifications of designs. A novel adaptation operator called rule difference replay (RDR) is created. When the specifications to a new design is presented, the CAD program uses it to construct a design constituting an approximate solution. The most similar design from the case-base is then retrieved and RDR replays the changes previously made to the retrieved design on the new solution. A measure of solution similarity that can validate subjective success scores is created. Specification similarity can be used as a guide whether to invoke CBR, in a hybrid CAD-CBR system. If the newly resulted design is suffciently similar to a previous design, then CBR is invoked; otherwise CAD is used. The application of RDR to knitwear design has demonstrated the flexibility to overcome deficiencies in rules that try to automate creativity, and has the potential to be applied to other domains such as interior design.
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