Expectations of knowledge-based support for mechanical engineers

John V Carlis, P. Starr

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Our intent in this paper is to provide a realistic set of expectations for potential mechanical engineering users of knowledgebase management systems (KBMS). We find that these systems are both overbought and oversold. Some otherwise sensible engineers or their managers overbuy in that they think that acquiring such a product will solve their or their subordinates problems. Vendors, naturally, will adopt fashionable terms in describing their products, since 'puffing' often sells. Optimistic people of either flavor often will be subject to a first step fallacy, that is, 'it works for a toy example, so it will work for a real case'. These unwarrantedly high expectations can lead to failed projects and an unwillingness to try the technology in other, viable contexts. To disperse some of the fog that exists, we will make useful definitional distinctions among terms. To help focus on system use rather than system features, we will examine mechanical engineering needs and the extent to which KBMS 'fit' those needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 1988
EventManaging Engineering Data: Emerging Issues - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: Jul 31 1988Aug 4 1988


OtherManaging Engineering Data: Emerging Issues
CitySan Francisco, CA, USA


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