Integrating knowledge-based configuration systems by sharing functional architectures
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Configuration problems are a thriving application area for declarative knowledge representation that experiences a constant increase in size and complexity of knowledge bases. However, today’s configurators are designed for solving local configuration problems not providing any distributed configuration problem solving functionality. Consequently the challenges for the construction of configuration systems are the integrated support of configuration knowledge base development and maintenance and the integration of methods that enable distributed configuration problem solving. In this paper we show how to employ a standard design language (Unified Modeling Language - UML) for the construction of configuration knowledge bases (component structure and functional architecture) and automatically translate the resulting models into an executable logic representation which can further be exploited for calculating distributed configurations. Functional architectures are shared among cooperating configuration systems serving as basis for the exchange of requirements between those systems. An example for configuring cars shows the whole process from the design of the configuration model to distributed configuration problem solving.