Causal Reasoning and Data Abstraction in Component Design

Soundar Kumara, Inyong Ham, M. Al-Hamando, Ken Goodnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper deals with a brief review of the various schools of thought on design. One of the major developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence is the idea of causal reasoning. The causality of a system from the basic physical laws needs to be established in order to study the behaviors of the system. The same reasoning extended to component design can be used to delineate the structure-function and behavior of the component and hence the device. Given a function the designer can refer to the basic physical laws to generate the possible configurations (structures). By going through the process of causal reasoning the designer can establish the possible behaviors of the structure. Hence the emerging idea is one of clearly distinguishing the various entities of behavior and structure through a process of data abstraction via hierarchical inheritance. The authors present two example components one for a conveyor control and the other a fastener. The preliminary research ideas are used for illustrating these two component designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-148
Number of pages4
JournalCIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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