The final outcome of a design process depends a lot on the initial conditions of this process. The initial design conditions can be viewed as the initial definition and representation of the design problem in the form of requirement model. Describing the requirements involves considering their elicitation and its transformation in a form that can be further used by engineering designers. These two phases of requirements, elicitation and representation, involve by nature linguistic description. Users, stakeholders or designers express themselves through natural language. Semantics considerations involve understanding aspects that comes down to word selection or connotation but also interpretation aspects of written terms used by communities or persons within particular circumstances and contexts. The present research work is constructed around a central hypothesis: Final design outcomes are strongly dependent on the initial design conditions because of the recursive nature of the design activity. The present article claims that computer tools can support the disambiguation process associated with elicitation and representation. For this reason the authors have developed an experimental process aiming at reducing ambiguity of the parts of the initial conditions of the design process that are expressed in natural language. This disambiguation is considering several levels: the grammar, words selection and context description.

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