Engineering information management (EIM), specifically the development of information models, is becoming increasingly important to facilitate the exchange of digital product information across the extended enterprise. A myriad of information models has been proposed for capturing a broad scope of design information. Recently, description logics (DLs) have received significant attention in current literature as an underlying representational formalism for developing engineering information models. In this paper, we address the question: “Why should description logics (DLs) be used for engineering information management (EIM)?” We identify the characteristics of engineering design problems and the requirements for EIM, review common information modeling formalisms, and critically evaluate the benefits of DLs over other representational formalisms. The use of DLs is illustrated for modeling engineering decision information. Finally, it is argued that DLs provides several advantages over other modeling formalism, including Semantic Data Model (SDM) and Object-Oriented Data Model (OODM), through a logic-based representation that enables reasoning to be performed for checking the consistency of the information model and providing a means for organizing the information into a hierarchical taxonomy.

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