posted on 2013-02-20, 14:04authored byA.J. Tunnicliffe
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
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.