Knowledge elicitation in design : a case study of page layout design
thesisposted on 20.02.2013 by A.J. Tunnicliffe
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
Knowledge elicitation remains a fundamental feature of Knowledge Based Systems evolution. However, there is insufficient evidence to support the presumption that the knowledge elicitation philosophy is viable for design. Scant effort has been applied to research into techniques for design elicitation, and the nature of design is poorly considered. In particular, design tasks that involve visual design skills appear especially neglected. The scarcity of proven knowledge elicitation methods for design has not dampened the enthusiasm for "Intelligent" Computer Aided Design Systems. However, it is argued that design knowledge acquired from ad hoc, unsubstantiated and untested procedures, and knowledge that is undocumented and untested cannot be considered reliable. Indeed, it is extensively observed that a deficiency of intelligent performance exists in current ICAD systems, and the exigency for laudable design elicitation methods is prevalent Here, knowledge elicitation in design is promoted through a review of design and knowledge elicitation research literature. Design must be considered dissimilar to scientific problem solving, and the holistic nature of the task is an important characteristic. Further, the spatial, diagrammatical and drawing forms of communication, that are manifest in design, must be tackled. A method for the elicitation of design knowledge is proposed, and tested in the domain of page layout design. Computerised methods of knowledge acquisition currently lack the sophistication to expound the enigmas associated with design elicitation. It is concluded that the personal interview strategy is appropriate, in which the nature of the design task, and the visual and spatial components are equitably considered. The understanding of page layout design is demonstrated in a communicable report, and tested through an evaluation study. It is concluded that methodological principles of knowledge elicitation are appropriate to design, and a suitable method is outlined. The domain of page layout design illustrates that the techniques are successful, useful and practical.