A Framework for Product Platform Knowledge Management using the Semantic Web Paradigm

Open Access
Nanda, Jyotirmaya
Graduate Program:
Industrial Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 02, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Timothy William Simpson, Committee Chair
  • Soundar Rajan Tirupatikumara, Committee Member
  • Richard Allen Wysk, Committee Member
  • Lyle Norman Long, Committee Member
  • Steven B Shooter, Committee Member
  • product family design
  • product platform design
  • semantic web
  • ontology
  • knowledge management
  • formal concept analysis
  • product design
The new form of competitive advantage for many companies in today’s global market place is platform-based product development and customization. For many engineered products, one of the most critical business processes is managing product data over the entire product lifecycle. The design information captured by heterogeneous software systems in proprietary data structures makes it difficult to index, search, refine, reuse, distribute and browse design artifacts across different organizational information systems. In this research, simple yet innovative methodologies are developed to (1) capture and reorganize component design information as a graph model in a Networked Bill of Material (NBOM) to facilitate both linguistic and parametric design information management for a family of products, (2) represent and store design information using ontologies that promote sharing and reuse of components for integrated platform-based product development across various phases of product design, and (3) perform product family analysis of the set of products based on linguistic and/or parametric information. In the proposed methodologies, the components and products of the product family are represented as a complete lattice structure using Formal Concept Analysis (FCA). The lattice structure formed using FCA facilitates the creation of the NBOM. The NBOM and component designs are subsequently encoded using the Web Ontology Language (OWL), a semantic web standard, to enable automatic processing of information by different applications. The design of a family of one-time-use cameras and a family of power tools serve as prototypes for verifying and validating the proposed product platform knowledge management framework.