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Principles of SEnSEful Engineering Support Systems

Uwe Keller and Alois Reitbauer
Publishing Date:

Engineering of products is a complex, ubiquitous task. Nowadays, these tasks have two important domain-independent aspects: (i) they are knowledge-intensive and (ii) collaborative endeavors. For such processes, information systems used within the industry today provide selective solutions rather than a principled approach towards efficient and holistic support for engineers during the overall process or across different processes. In particular, it is up to individuals to (manually) create and manage their own information space to increase the efficiency of their personal work process. This space is not represented explicitly in a dedicated system and it cannot be shared with others. Furthermore, support systems are usually passive, i.e. the user has to repeatedly ask for information, rather than getting notified about relevant information whenever it is available. For this reason, we propose a novel approach towards a generic engineering support environment that combines Semantic Web technologies, Semantic Desktops, Group Memory Systems and Multi-Agent Systems to overcome the problems. It aims at transferring the principles underlying the Semantic Web into an enterprise. This report provides a motivation for our research, discusses economical relevance, identifies requirements and systematically derives the conceptual architecture and elements of the solution. Finally, the technical implementation of the proposed architecture is discussed in greater detail.