Year: 2015
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Marco Cantamessa, Gaetano Cascini, Dorian Marjanovic, Srinivasan Venkataraman
Author: Dinar, Mahmoud; Park, Yong-Seok; Shah, Jami J
Series: ICED
Institution: Arizona State University, United States of America
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Design Processes
Page(s): 165-176
ISBN: 978-1-904670-65-0
ISSN: 2220-4334


The need for capturing and documenting problem formulation data exists for early stages of conceptual design. In this paper, we review two versions of our Problem Map ontological framework which we have used for expressing problem formulation data of different designers with the intent of understanding differences among them. We discuss some of the challenges that we have faced in developing and using the ontology for the annotation of problem formulation data for both introspective and reflective annotators. They include unclear boundaries of definitions for a few entities; difficulty in striking the right balance between a light, structured, easy to express ontology, and a fluid ontology with many entities that increases the chance of expressing data fragments but lowers accuracy among annotators; and making the ontology easier to learn for users, both introspective and reflective annotators. We give examples of how the ontology represents problem formulation data fragments, and examples of challenges from collected data.

Keywords: Ontologies, Conceptual Design, Design Informatics

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