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Publication Title | Case-Based Design: A Review and Analysis of Building Design Applications

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Watson, I., and Perera, R.S. (1997), "Case-Based Design: A Review and Analysis of Building Design Applications". Journal of Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing AIEDAM, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 59-87, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Case-Based Design: a Review and Analysis of Building Design Applications1
Ian Watson
AI-CBR, Bridgewater Building, University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT, UK i.d.watson@surveying.salford.ac.uk
Srinath Perera
Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Abstract
This paper presents a review of Case-Based Design (CBD) and its application to building design in particular. CBD is the application of Case-Based Reasoning to the design process. Design maps well to Case-Based Reasoning since designers use parts of previous design solutions in developing new design solutions. This paper identifies problems of case representation, retrieval, adaptation, presentation and case-base maintenance along with creativity, legal and ethical issues that need to be addressed by CBD systems. It provides a comprehensive review of CBD systems developed for building design and provides a detailed comparison of the CBD systems reviewed.
Keywords: Case-Based Reasoning, Case-Based Design, Building, Experience 1. Introduction
Case-Based Design (CBD) is the application of Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) to design; thus solving design problems by adapting solutions that were used to solve previous design problems. Design is an ill-structured domain [Simon, 73] where knowledge required for problem solving cannot be formalised into a robust model. This makes traditional Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques such as rule-based expert systems inadequate for design problem solving. Designers, use context-based knowledge and problem solving skills, along with previous design experience to solve design problems. The uniqueness of a design solution often depends on the creative ability of the designer to satisfy constraints within the problem context.
Since experience plays a key role in developing design solutions, a reasoning method which organises previous experiences as cases in order to reason - namely CBR seems well suited to design problem solving. It is known that designers use their experience of design along with combinations and adaptations of previous designs or parts of designs in creating a new design [Akin, 82]. Schmitt et. al., [94] point out that such adaptations and combinations of previous design features in the architectural design of buildings have resulted in many impressive and innovative designs. Oxman [93a & b] terms this precedent-based design.
The design of simple buildings, such as houses, provides a classic example of CBD. In such instances, especially in the case of dwellings in large housing estates, an individual house design is an adaptation of a basic house plan suited to its location and the specific requirements of its prospective occupants. Adaptation of the basic plan may involve the
1 Note: this is not the complete version of this paper – the references are missing...Sorry!
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