EEN Related Literature Survey

Jacek Gwizdka
Enterprise Integration Laboratory
Department of Industrial Engineering
University of Toronto

This document presents an overview of EEN related research and literature. In some cases only short information is presented in a bullet form.

Table of Contents

[Hong95] PENS

Hong, J., et al., Personal Electronic Notebook with Sharing, Full paper on the Web.

The authors present a lightweight notebook for designers. PENS supports ubiquitos notetaking, agile browsing, and sharing of notes through Internet. The prototype software runs on a Mac PowerBook and is essentially an off-line WWW authoring tool with browsing capabilities. The contents and structure of a PENS notebook can be woven onto a group notebook located on the WWW. At the current stage PENS supports text only notes. The authors see PENS role in recording of "thought-based information", that is, knowledge generated independently of conversational threads. The authors hypothesized that design knowledge is better conserved by providing frequent sharing of work in progress and thus less documentation may be needed. The hypothesis has not been proved or falsified yet.

[Kumar94] A SHAREd Web to Support Design Teams.

Vinay Kumar et al, A SHAREd Web to Support Design Teams, in Proceedings of Third IEEE Workshop on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises, April 1994, pp. 178-182

The authors used WWW as a medium for design information interchange, filtering, access and navigation.

[Toye94] SHARE: A Methodology and Environment for Collaboartive Product Development.

George Toye et al, A Methodology and Environment for Collaboartive Product Development, in Post-Proceedings of the IEEE Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises, 1993?

[Olsen94] Collaborative Engineering Based on Knowledge Sharing Agreements.

Gregory R. Olsen et al, Collaborative Engineering Based on Knowledge Sharing Agreements, in Engineering Data Management: Integrating the Engineering Enterprise. ASME 1994, pp.1-12

Authors propose modeling engineering collaboration as a network of interacting agents that encapsulate the capabilities of both users and their tools. Inter-agent communication includes both formal exchanges and informal communication among people. The contents of messages exchanges among agents are defined by adopting formal information sharing agreements (ontologies).

[Cutkosky92] PACT: An Experiment in Integrating Concurrent Engineering Systems.

Mark Cutkosky et al, PACT: An Experiment in Integrating Concurrent Engineering Systems, On the Web:, 1992?

[Lakin92] Mapping Design Information.

Fred Lakin et al, Mapping Design Information, On the Web: click here, AAAI 92 Workshop on Design Rationale Capture and Use, June 21, 1992

Using computer-based tools (like vmacs-EDN) during the conceptual design phase can easily generate thousands of pages of electronic documents. The need thus arises for organization and navigation tools. The design map-maker system created by authors deals with this issue by employing map of design information. The map-maker system comes into play in two stages.
During the design information capture stage designer tags expressing key ideas parts on the notebook pages as she generates them. Tagging is performed with visual markers. This activity costs 20-30sec. per hour. Idea Tag Table is a machine and human readable outline containing tags denoting the current key ideas in the designers view. It takes about 20min. per week to update the table. To allow for translation between the designer-centered view (expressed by idea tags) and the organizational view (requirements) of a design, a translation table is created by a knowldege engineer (or by a designer). This translation table is based on the particular designer's notebook habits and design ideaas. The cost of creating table is a couple of hours monthly.
In the design information use stage, the map-maker translates user queries expressed in terms of requirements into a text-graphic object base query which returns a map containing the following information:

and also:

Presenting the additional information makes it easy for the user to further refine the query.
In addition to the benefits of the present solution described above, the authors state in conclusion that their approach creates in the long term a knowledge base composed of large amount of informally structured text-graphics which is not fully interpretable by machines right now, but which in the future will provide designers with more insightful maps as machine interpretation becomes better.

[Leifer91] Instrumenting the Design Process.

Larry Leifer, Instrumenting The Design Process, International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 91 Zurich, August 1991

Results of research and their implementation:

[Lakin89] The electronic design notebooks: performing and processing medium.

Fred Lakin et al, The electronic design notebooks: performing and processing medium, The Visual Computer, Springer Verlag 1989, 5:214-226

[Sivard89] Conservation of Design Knowledge.

Cecilia Sivard et al, Conservation of Design Knowledge, 27th Aerospace Meeting, AIAA'89

[Uejio92] Capturing the Corporate Memory of a Product.

Wayne H. Uejio et al, Capturing the Corporate Memory of a Product, ?Mar 27, 1992

[Uejio91] An Electronic Project Notebook from the Electronic Design Notebook (EDN).

Wayne H. Uejio et al, An Electronic Project Notebook from the Electronic Design Notebook (EDN), In Proceedings of the Third National Symposium on Concurrent Engineering. Concurrent Engineering Research Center, West Virinia University, February 1991

[Fowler94] Experience with the Virtual Notebook System: Abstraction in Hypertext.

Jerry Fowler et al, Experience with the Virtual Notebook System: Abstraction in Hypertext, Proceedings ACM 1994 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, October 1994 pp. 133-143

The authors descirbe their experiences with the VNS after it has beed used in diverse environments and after it became a commercial product. The VNS provides environment for collaborative authoring/viewing of hypermedia documents. VNS, as a hypertext system, shares the basic charactersistics of the Dexter hypertext reference model. At the same time VNS extends the Dexter model, as the authors does not find it sufficient for their task.

Hypertext features of the VNS include:

The organizational hierarchy provided by the VNS metaphor looks as follows:
  1. Libraries contain notebooks
  2. Notebooks contain pages
  3. Pages can contain four types of components:
    1. Text - can be entered from keyboard, by importing, cutting&pasting.
    2. Images - either imported or captured from screen.
    3. Navigational links - as described above. They are implemented in the form of buttons with a linked page name or with a text label.
    4. Action links - invoke user-defined system commands. Examples of use: modifying the page contents, exporting the contents of a text component to a word processor and importing it back after changes have been made.
Support for authorship, ownership, and collaboration in VNS. Experience the authors had with VNS showed its strengths and weaknesses: The VNS object domain contains of notebooks, pages, and page-components of four types. Data associated with page-component objects is stored in their attributes. Objects in the VNS cannot be referenced except through navigation links. Referring to data in a different context requires its duplication.
Further authors describe the client/server architecture of the implemented VNS server stressing object change propagation issues.
Authors continue their work on the system to further improve it. Current projects include Memento, a metaphor-independent architecture for collaborative hypertext to support heterogenous user communities. In Memento, the semantic context of a metaphor itself can be transmitted between server and client.
Authors also propose to extend explicit hypertext links to the Virtual Object Model, where Virtual Object is an encapsulation of a collection of related fields whose values satisfy some query given as input. Invoking VO returns as a result a list of objects.

[Burger91] The Virtual Notebook System.

Andrew M. Burger, The Virtual Notebook System, in Proceedings Hypertext'91, pp. 395-401

[Spillers93] Engineering Design, Conceptual Design

Spillers. W.R., et al., Engineering Design, Conceptual Design, and Design Theory: A Report. in de Vries., M.J., et al. (eds.) Design Methodology and Relationships with Science, Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993pp. 103-120

The authors present review of engineering design, elements of design theory and results from their case studies of conceptual design stage. Below only the latter is described since it is of our main interest.
Seeking to answer the question: how to support designers from various domains during the conceptual design phase, the authors conducted a study to determine characteristics of and representations used in this phase of design. Four expert designers from different domains including an artist (a sculptor) were interviewed. The results in the form of answers to questions are summarized below:

Conclusions Description of conceptual design was similar among designers from different engineering disciplines and even from an artistic field. Thus, a fundamental model of the conceptual design process can be developed and computer tools can be used to facilitate the process in more than one domain.

[Culverhouse95] Product Books.

P.F.Culverhouse, Product Books: archiving for information use and reuse, a replacement for CAD databases, Journal of Design and Manufacturing 5:13-24,1995.

The paper addresses the issue of human access to design information in engineering companies. A proposed solution is through the use of a structured constraint-based hypermedia system called "product-books".
The author proposes that design documentation be extended to embody engineering logbooks, design schematics, bills of materials and engineering constraints into one formally structured document that constitutes the design information for a product. Suggested structure for these documents has form of electronic books. The books are called "product books", and are based on a developed by the author object-oriented text and graphics database. Being object-oriented all text and graphics are accessible by automatic enquiry methods as well as manual ones. A set of product books is generated for each product during its life. This set is called a product encyclopedia. The encyclopedia consists of 3 product books each holding different aspects of product design information. Author makes a claim that by introducing a predefined, fixed structure of product book chapters, information enquires are made easier.
Critique. The described system stores many aspects of design information facilitating in this way design reuse. Thus the design WHAT is captured. It does not store, however, design decisions which led to the final design, nor it records design rationale. In particular, Product Book 2 describes a product's conceptual design. This book contains the early stages of a design, but it records them only in their final form. Furthermore, even though this book contains initial product concepts and solutions, it does not capture the design decisions lying behind them, it does not capture the design WHYs.

[Gessler94] PDAs as Mobile WWW Browsers.

Stefan Gessler, Andreas Kotulla, PDAs as Mobile WWW Browsers, Proceedings of the "WWW Fall'94" conference in Chicago.

In this paper authors present a WWW client for Newton. First, future applications of PDAs as global information browsers are pictured. Second, the possible architectures of a WWW client implementation on a PDA are outlined. Authors then describe current state of their development of WWW browser for Newton. The current WWW client is not generic in a sense, that it still requires some preprocessing done by the specific host (DECalpha is the only host supported). The main issues which had to be addressed in t his implementation were due to the limitations of Newton's hardware. These resulted in the following drawbacks in the browser's functionality:

1. Slow response time due to the limited memory and limited bandwith of serial communication.

2. Longer documents have to be split-up into smaller parts on the UNIX host due to the limited size of data blocks (32k) which Newton is able to store.

3. User has to scroll a lot to see the whole text due to the small display size.

Authors continue work on their project and plan to incorporate improvements in the Newton-WWW as soon as faster connections, larger storage capabilities of Newton, and the new HTTP specs become available.

The above research is of our interest because it presents similar design issues as in the NewtEEN project, and because a WWW client can be used to interface IKB server.

Installed alpha version has been tested with DECalpha over serial connection. Two main features which are missing: forms and security are not supported.


Implicit Structures for Pen-Based Systems Within a Freeform Interaction Paradigm.CHI'95 Proceedings ACM 1995, pp.487-494


Communication and Information Retrieval with a Pen-Based Meeting Support Tool. CSCW'92 Proceedings ACM November 1992, pp.322-329


Finding and Using Implicit Structure in Human-Organized Spatial Layouts of Information.CHI'95 Proceedings ACM 1995, pp.346-353


Articulating a Metaphor Through User-Centered Design. Design Briefing. CHI'95 Proceedings ACM 1995, pp.566-572


Supporting Collaborative Design With Representations for Mutual Understanding. Doctoral Consortium. CHI'95 Proceedings ACM 1995, pp.69-70


The Use of an Automatic "To-Do" List to Guide Structured Interaction. Short Papers. CHI'95 Proceedings ACM 1995, pp.232-233


Supporting Design Activities in the Written Medium. Doctoral Consortium. CHI'95 Proceedings ACM 1995, pp.61-61


Supporting Communication between Designers with Artifact-Centered Evolving Information Spaces. CSCW'92 Proceedings ACM November 1992, pp.394-401


Back to the Future: Pen and Paper Technology Supports Complex Group Coordination. CHI'95 Proceedings ACM 1995, pp.


Generative Design Rationale: Beyond the Record and Replay Paradigm. in Moran, Thomas P., Carroll, John M., eds. Design Rationale. Concepts, Techniques, and Use. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., 1996, pp.323-349

The authors argue that record and replay systems are not sufficient for design rationale recording, because they cannot answer all the designer's questions. They argue for generative methods of design rationale construction or inference...