The article presents the research of the nature, building and practical role of a Design Ontology as a potential framework for the more efficient product development (PD) data-, information- and knowledge- description, -explanation, -understanding and -reusing. In the methodology for development of the ontology two steps could be identified: empirical research and computer implementation. Empirical research has included domain documentation analysis (Genetic Design Model System developed by Mortensen 1999), identification of the key concepts and relations between them, and categorisation of the concepts and relations into taxonomies. As an epistemological foundation for the concepts formalisation, The Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO) proposed by IEEE, was reused. As the result of the previously described process, the ontology content has been categorised into six main subcategories divided between physical and abstract world. As a next step the computer thesaurus has been created. Using the thesauri, the knowledge evolved during the PD has been described, and the set of the created concepts and relations instances has been used for the ontology model consistency checking and refinement. The Design Ontology was evaluated through test product examples and based on this evaluation and proposed implementation framework further research steps are proposed.
- Knowledge and information management
- Product and systems modelling