Efficient identification of relevant biological strategies to use in Conceptual Design is key to harnessing biological technologies in engineering. However, identification of these strategies is not straight forward. There are several approaches developed to aid in identifying these strategies, including searchable databases and functional keyword searches. Although these approaches offer access to these biological solutions, the generic keyword-based retrieval mechanisms utilized by these approaches often suffer from providing either too many and/or irrelevant results. In this paper, we present a design repository for storing and retrieving biological (and engineering) design strategies. The backbone of this repository is an ontology structuring information from the biological and engineering domains. This ontology is encoded using Description Logics, a subset of first-order logic that have been used for information modeling in several application areas, including engineering information management. Subsumption, an inference mechanism afforded in Description Logics, is used to retrieve relevant biological strategies from the repository. In this paper, we demonstrate that subsumption allows precise retrieval of relevant biological strategies from the repository.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.