Design of physical devices is competitive task undertaken by engineering professionals in diverse industries. In addition to numeric analyses and quantitative simulations, designers use qualitative knowledge about components, devices, and contexts of use to arrive at suitable designs. To put qualitative reasoning in the hands of the designers, it is necessary to integrate with existing design tools (e.g., OpenModelica). In this paper, we focus on two design tasks: verification and design space exploration. To support verification, we introduce the process of qualitative verification and the automatic extraction of guards (logical statements that guide detailed design). To support design space exploration, we introduce a tool that automatically generates candidate designs and identifies promising designs through qualitative verification. Next, we discuss design requirements, and how they could be captured qualitatively. We close with a discussion of related work and some open questions.
Klenk, M.; de Kleer, J.; Bobrow, D. G.; Hanley, J.; Janssen, W. C. Placing qualitative reasoning in the design process. 26th International Workshop on Qualitative Reasoning; 2012 July 16-18; Playa Vista, CA.