Research on constraint-based design systems

Abstract: "Design can be viewed as a constraint satisfaction problem: given constraints on functionality, structure, and manufacturability,produce a detailed structural description of an artifact. We present the notion of a constraint-based design system as one that explicitlyrepresents and operates upon these constraints. A key feature of constraint-based systems is the separation of problem statement from problem solution techniques. Constraint systems are distinguished from parametric design systems, which do not separate problem statement and solution. Current constraint-based systems are examined, and their strengths and weaknesses discussed.We describe DOC (Design Objects and Constraints), an object-oriented constraint-based design system, and WoRM (Window Regulator Mechanism design), a mechanical design system built upon DOC. Issues requiring further research are discussed, and a description of our own research directions is presented."