Illustration, Explanation and Navigation of Physical Devices and Design Processes
This work addresses three issues in intelligent tutoring systems. First, how to explain and illustrate the functioning of physical devices. This capability is useful for understanding and using past designs. The second issue is how to illustrate and explain the reasoning of an expert designer. This capability is often required for supporting learning by observation. Finally, might the same kinds of representations and processes support these two capabilities? This thesis explores how Structure-Behavior-Function models of physical devices and Structure-Behavior-Function meta models of an autonomous design system help to address these issues. The Structure-Behavior-Function model of a device (or a system) explicitly specifies its structure, its function and its internal behaviors that map its structure into its function. This research has resulted in a system called Canah-chab that provides an interactive graphical interface to an autonomous design system called Kritik2. It illustrates and explains both the physical devices in Kritik2's memory and the processes by which it generates new design. In addition, Canah-chab enables a user to navigate Kritik2's memory and access the stored designs.