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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1989

J. Mackerle

Expert systems are being effectively applied to a variety of engineering problems. A growing number of languages and development tools are available for their building…

Abstract

Expert systems are being effectively applied to a variety of engineering problems. A growing number of languages and development tools are available for their building. Expert systems building tools (shells) are not so flexible as the high‐level languages, but they are easier to use. The problem is that there are too many development tools on the market today, no standards for their evaluation are available, so it is quite difficult to choose the ‘best’ tool for the developer's/user's needs. This paper is an attempt to review the situation on the confused market. Eighty‐six development tools are described in a table form for easy comparisons. Tools implemented on the AI machines only are not included in this survey.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Claire Hamasu and Elizabeth Kelly

The purpose of this paper is to describe how the logic model can provide infrastructure for library programming from planning, tracking accomplishments, identifying where…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how the logic model can provide infrastructure for library programming from planning, tracking accomplishments, identifying where adjustments are required, to reporting outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region has used the logic model since 2003 for planning and organizing its work. Its geographically dispersed librarians carry out six project initiatives. The logic model is used during planning to establish consensus on expectations and responsibilities. An online reporting tool, developed in 2004, tracks staff activities to the logic model. Quarterly reports for each project uses reporting tool data to determine whether the project is going along as planned or whether an intervention is required. At the end of the year, a final report assesses the achievement outcomes and indicators.

Findings

Writing a logic model is a study in semantics. It is important to be as specific as possible. Accurately defining terms saves puzzlement down the line on whether an activity was carried out as planned or an indicator was met. Measurable targets for each indicator encourage staff to continuously evaluate their activities and adjust their work to achieve the desired results. Writing realistic indicators is a process that improves with practice. Early in the program enthusiasm and the optimism of the librarian staff led to the indicators that were unrealistic within a one year timeframe.

Practical implications

The logic model accommodates the unforeseeable and helps evaluate whether an activity is worth doing. It is impossible to identify all future opportunities. The logic model runs from the visionary (goals) to the ordinary (activities). When the unexpected arises it can be evaluated on how closely it addresses goals and outcomes and can be tied to that goal or outcome when reporting. The integration of the logic model into the program is made more efficient with an online report system. Having a system that links staff work to the logic model facilitates analysis, decision making, and reporting.

Originality/value

The logic model is generally touted as a planning tool. This paper expands the use of the logic model as a tool for planning, tracking, and reporting.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2020

Carlos Ye Zhu, J. Norberto Pires and Amin Azar

This study aims to report the development of a provisional robotic cell for additive manufacturing (AM) of metallic parts. To this end, the paper discusses…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to report the development of a provisional robotic cell for additive manufacturing (AM) of metallic parts. To this end, the paper discusses cross-disciplinary concepts related to the development of the robotic cell and the associated command and control system such as the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) interface, the slicing software and the path planning for the robot manipulator toward printing the selected workpiece. This study also reports the development of a virtual production cell that simulates the AM toolpath generated for the desired workpiece, the adaptation of the simulation environments to enable AM and the development of a user application to setup, command and control the AM processes. If a digital twin setup is efficiently built, with a good correlation between the simulation environment and the real systems, developers may explore this functionality to significantly reduce the development cycle, which can be very long in AM applications where metallurgic properties, part distortion and other properties need to be monitored and controlled.

Design/methodology/approach

To generate the robot manipulator path, several simulation programs were considered, resulting in different solutions to program and control the robot of choice [in this study, Kuka and Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) robots were considered]. By integrating the solutions from Slic3r, Inventor, Kuka.Sim, Kuka.Officelite, RobotStudio and Visual Studio software packages, this study aims to develop a functional simulation system capable of producing a given workpiece. For this purpose, a graphical user interface (GUI) was designed to provide the user with a higher level of control over the entire process toward simplifying the programming and implementation events.

Findings

The presented solutions are compatible with the simulation environments of specific robot manufacturers, namely, ABB and Kuka, meaning that the authors aim to align the developments with most of the currently realized AM processing cells. In the long-term, the authors aim to build an AM system that implements a produce-from-CAD strategy i.e. that can be commanded directly from the CAD package used to design the part the authors are interested in.

Research limitations/implications

This study attempts to shed light on the industrial AM, a field that is being constantly evolved. Arguably, one of the most important aspects of an AM system is path planning for the AM operation, which must be independent of the robotic system used. This study depicts a generic implementation that can be used with several robot control systems. The paper demonstrates the principle with ABB and Kuka robots, exploiting in detail simulation environments that can be used to create digital twins of the real AM systems. This is very important in actual industrial setups, as a good correlation between the digital twins (simulation environment and real system) will enable developers to explore the AM system in not only a more efficient manner, greatly reducing the development cycle but also as a way to fully develop new solutions without stopping the real setup. In this research, a systematic review of robot systems through simulation environments was presented, aiming to emulate the logic that is, used in the production cell development, disregarding the system brand. The adopted digital twin strategy enables the authors to fully simulate, both operationally and functionality, the real AM system. For this purpose, different solutions were explored using robots from two different manufacturers and related simulation environments, illustrating a generic solution that is not bound to a certain brand.

Practical implications

Using specific programming tools, fully functional virtual production cells were conceived that can receive the instructions for the movements of the robot, using a transmission control protocol/internet protocol. Conversion of the CAD information into the robot path instructions for the robot was the main research question in this study. With the different simulation systems, a program that translates the CAD data into an acceptable format brings the robot closer to the automatic path planning based on CAD data. Both ABB and Kuka systems can access the CAD data, converting it to the correct robot instructions that are executed. Eventually, a functional and intuitive GUI application capable of commanding the simulation for the execution of the AM was implemented. The user can set the desired object and run a completely automatic AM process through the designated GUI. Comparing ABB simulation with the Kuka system, an important distinction can be found, namely, in the exportation of the programs. As the Kuka program runs with add-ons, the solution will not be exported while maintaining its functionality, whereas the ABB program can be integrated with a real controller because it is completely integrated with modules of the virtual controller.

Originality/value

To conclude, with the solutions exploited, this study reports a step forward into the development of a fully functional generic AM cell. The final objective is to implement an AM system that is, independent of any robot manufacturer brand and uses a produce-from-CAD strategy (c.f. digital manufacturing). In other words, the authors presented a system that is fully automatic, can be explored from a CAD package and, consequently, can be used by any CAD designer, without specific knowledge of robotics, materials and AM systems.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1987

J.P. Stead, J.E. Strutt and J. Billingham

The trend in computer‐based risk and reliability assessment is foreseen as moving away from current algorithmic methods, towards information systems built around…

Abstract

The trend in computer‐based risk and reliability assessment is foreseen as moving away from current algorithmic methods, towards information systems built around human‐like reasoning processes. Here a trial Computer‐Aided Risk Evaluation system under development at Cranfield Institute of Technology is outlined. The system is being programmed using the logic programming language, PROLOG. The method of representing materials failure knowledge within the system is described, and problems associated with endowing the system with a measure of intelligence are discussed. Ideas for future development of such systems are presented.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Eben B. Witherspoon and Christian D. Schunn

Computational thinking (CT) is widely considered to be an important component of teaching generalizable computer science skills to all students in a range of learning…

Abstract

Purpose

Computational thinking (CT) is widely considered to be an important component of teaching generalizable computer science skills to all students in a range of learning environments, including robotics. However, despite advances in the design of robotics curricula that can teach CT, actual enactment in classrooms may often fail to reach this target. This study aims to understand whether the various instructional goals teachers’ hold when using these curricula may offer one potential explanation for disparities in outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the authors examine results from N = 206 middle-school students’ pre- and post-tests of CT, attitudinal surveys and surveys of their teacher’s instructional goals to determine if student attitudes and learning gains in CT are related to the instructional goals their teachers endorsed while implementing a shared robotics programming curriculum.

Findings

The findings provide evidence that despite using the same curriculum, students showed differential learning gains on the CT assessment when in classrooms with teachers who rated CT as a more important instructional goal; these effects were particularly strong for women. Students in classroom with teachers who rated CT more highly also showed greater maintenance of positive attitudes toward programming.

Originality/value

While there is a growing body of literature regarding curricular interventions that provide CT learning opportunities, this study provides a critical insight into the role that teachers may play as a potential support or barrier to the success of these curricula. Implications for the design of professional development and teacher educative materials that attend to teachers’ instructional goals are discussed.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 120 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2013

Seyed Hossein Razavi Hajiagha, Hannan Amoozad Mahdiraji and Shide Sadat Hashemi

The purpose of this paper is to extend a methodology for solving multi‐objective linear programming (MOLP) problems, when the objective functions and constraints…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend a methodology for solving multi‐objective linear programming (MOLP) problems, when the objective functions and constraints coefficients are stated as interval numbers.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach proposed in this paper for the considered problem is based on the maximization of the sum of membership degrees which are defined for each objective of multi objective problem. These membership degrees are constructed based on the deviation from optimal solutions of individual objectives. Then, the final model based on membership degrees is itself an interval linear programming which can be solved by current methods.

Findings

The efficiency of the solutions obtained by the proposed method is proved. It is shown that the obtained solution by the proposed method for an interval multi objective problem is Pareto optimal.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed method can be used in modeling and analyzing of uncertain systems which are modeled in the context of multi objective problems and in which required information is ill defined.

Originality/value

The paper proposed a novel and well‐defined algorithm to solve the considered problem.

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Karsten Winther Johansen, Rasmus Nielsen, Carl Schultz and Jochen Teizer

Real-time location sensing (RTLS) systems offer a significant potential to advance the management of construction processes by potentially providing real-time access to…

Abstract

Purpose

Real-time location sensing (RTLS) systems offer a significant potential to advance the management of construction processes by potentially providing real-time access to the locations of workers and equipment. Many location-sensing technologies tend to perform poorly for indoor work environments and generate large data sets that are somewhat difficult to process in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, little is still known regarding the practical benefits of converting raw worker tracking data into meaningful information about construction project progress, effectively impeding widespread adoption in construction.

Design/methodology/approach

The presented framework is designed to automate as many steps as possible, aiming to avoid manual procedures that significantly increase the time between progress estimation updates. The authors apply simple location tracking sensor data that does not require personal handling, to ensure continuous data acquisition. They use a generic and non-site-specific knowledge base (KB) created through domain expert interviews. The sensor data and KB are analyzed in an abductive reasoning framework implemented in Answer Set Programming (extended to support spatial and temporal reasoning), a logic programming paradigm developed within the artificial intelligence domain.

Findings

This work demonstrates how abductive reasoning can be applied to automatically generate rich and qualitative information about activities that have been carried out on a construction site. These activities are subsequently used for reasoning about the progress of the construction project. Our framework delivers an upper bound on project progress (“optimistic estimates”) within a practical amount of time, in the order of seconds. The target user group is construction management by providing project planning decision support.

Research limitations/implications

The KB developed for this early-stage research does not encapsulate an exhaustive body of domain expert knowledge. Instead, it consists of excerpts of activities in the analyzed construction site. The KB is developed to be non-site-specific, but it is not validated as the performed experiments were carried out on one single construction site.

Practical implications

The presented work enables automated processing of simple location tracking sensor data, which provides construction management with detailed insight into construction site progress without performing labor-intensive procedures common nowadays.

Originality/value

While automated progress estimation and activity recognition in construction have been studied for some time, the authors approach it differently. Instead of expensive equipment, manually acquired, information-rich sensor data, the authors apply simple data, domain knowledge and a logical reasoning system for which the results are promising.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Pawel Sitek, Jaroslaw Wikarek and Peter Nielsen

The purpose of this paper is the need to build a novel approach that would allow flexible modeling and solving of food supply chain management (FSCM) problems. The models…

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3018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is the need to build a novel approach that would allow flexible modeling and solving of food supply chain management (FSCM) problems. The models developed would use the data (data-driven modeling) as early as possible at the modeling phase, which would lead to a better and more realistic representation of the problems being modeled.

Design/methodology/approach

An essential feature of the presented approach is its declarativeness. The use of a declarative approach that additionally includes constraint satisfaction problems and provides an opportunity of fast and easy modeling of constrains different in type and character. Implementation of the proposed approach was performed with the use of an original hybrid method in which constraint logic programming (CLP) and mathematical programming (MP) are integrated and transformation of a model is used as a presolving technique.

Findings

The proposed constraint-driven approach has proved to be extremely flexible and efficient. The findings obtained during part of experiments dedicated to efficiency were very interesting. The use of the constraint-driven approach has enabled finding a solution depending on the instance data up to 1,000 times faster than using the MP.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the limited use of exact methods for NP-hard problems, the future study should be to integrate the CLP with environments other than the MP. It is also possible, e.g., with metaheuristics like genetic algorithms, ant colony optimization, etc.

Practical implications

There is a possibility of using the approach as a basis to build a decision support system for FSCM, simple integration with databases, enterprise resource planning systems, management information systems, etc.

Originality/value

The new constraint-driven approach to FSCM has been proposed. The proposed approach is an extension of the hybrid approach. Also, a new decision-making model of distribution and logistics for the food supply chain is built. A presolving technique for this model has been presented.

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Yahia Zare Mehrjerdi

The purpose of this paper is to develop a computer aided decision‐making model for flexible manufacturing system (FMS) situations when multiple conflicting objectives are…

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1114

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a computer aided decision‐making model for flexible manufacturing system (FMS) situations when multiple conflicting objectives are addressed by the management.

Design/methodology/approach

It is assumed that the problem is the managerial level schedule rather than the operational schedule. As a tool, goal programming has been employed for measuring the trade‐offs among the objectives. As a safeguard, the level of the reliability of the constraints associated with the random coefficients is taken into consideration. As an optimization technique, the approach of chance constrained programming which has been an operational way for introducing probabilistic constraints into the collection of the linear programming and goal programming problem constraints is stated and mathematically formulated.

Findings

The approach of chance constrained programming is suitable to introduce management concerns about the reliability of the constraints of the problem in the FMS.

Originality/value

The paper gives an overview of the FMS and proposes a goal programming model for the analysis of problem. The proposed model acknowledges the randomness of customer demands for better standardization of production planning and inventory management systems. By the fact that customer demands are not always deterministic the hypothesis that sale level for each period is normally distributed is imposed. A sample example problem is provided to show how the proposed model can work.

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Katerina Ksystra and Petros Stefaneas

Reactive rules are used for programming rule-based Web agents, which have the ability to detect events and respond to them automatically and can have complex structure and…

Abstract

Purpose

Reactive rules are used for programming rule-based Web agents, which have the ability to detect events and respond to them automatically and can have complex structure and unpredictable behavior. The aim of this paper is to provide an appropriate formal framework for analyzing such rules.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this goal, the authors give two alternative semantics for the basic reactive rules’ families which allow us to specify reactive rule-based agents and verify their intended behavior. The first approach expresses the functionality of production and event condition action rules in terms of equations, whereas the second methodology is based in the formalism of rewriting logic. Both semantics can be expressed within the framework of CafeOBJ algebraic specification language, which then offers the verification support and have their advantages and downsides.

Findings

The authors report on experiences gained by applying those methodologies in a reactive rule-based system and compare the two methodologies.

Originality/value

Finally, the authors demonstrate a tool that translates a set of reactive rules into CafeOBJ rewrite rules, thus making the verification of reactive rules possible for inexperienced users.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

Keywords

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