Knowledge-Based Configuration: From Research to Business Cases

  • 7h 11m
  • Alexander Felfernig, Claire Bagley, Juha Tiihonen, Lothar Hotz
  • Elsevier Science and Technology Books, Inc.
  • 2014

Knowledge-based Configuration incorporates knowledge representation formalisms to capture complex product models and reasoning methods to provide intelligent interactive behavior with the user. This book represents the first time that corporate and academic worlds collaborate integrating research and commercial benefits of knowledge-based configuration. Foundational interdisciplinary material is provided for composing models from increasingly complex products and services. Case studies, the latest research, and graphical knowledge representations that increase understanding of knowledge-based configuration provide a toolkit to continue to push the boundaries of what configurators can do and how they enable companies and customers to thrive.

  • Includes detailed discussion of state-of-the art configuration knowledge engineering approaches such as automated testing and debugging, redundancy detection, and conflict management
  • Provides an overview of the application of knowledge-based configuration technologies in the form of real-world case studies from SAP, Siemens, Kapsch, and more
  • Explores the commercial benefits of knowledge-based configuration technologies to business sectors from services to industrial equipment
  • Uses concepts that are based on an example personal computer configuration knowledge base that is represented in an UML-based graphical language

About the Authors

Alexander Felfernig has been a full professor at the Graz University of Technology (Austria) since March 2009; he received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Klagenfurt. Currently, he directs the Applied Software Engineering (ASE) research group at the Institute of Software Technology. His research interests include configuration systems, recommender systems, model-based diagnosis, software requirements engineering, different aspects of human decision-making, and knowledge acquisition methods. Alexander Felfernig has published numerous papers in renowned international conferences and journals (e.g., AI Magazine, Artificial Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, IEEE Intelligent Systems, Journal of Electronic Commerce) and is a co-author of the book Recommender Systems, published by Cambridge University Press. He also acted as an organizer of international conferences and workshops such as the ACM International Conference on Recommender Systems and the International Symposium on Methodologies for Intelligent Systems. Currently, he is a member of the Editorial Board of Applied Intelligence and the Journal of Intelligent Information Systems.

Lothar Hotz is a senior researcher at the Hamburg Informatics Technology Center (HITeC e.V.) located at the University of Hamburg, Germany; he received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Hamburg. He has participated in several national and European projects related to topics of configuration, knowledge representation, constraints, diagnosis, scene interpretation, requirements engineering, parallel processing, syntactic and semantic search, and object-oriented programming languages. Lothar has published numerous scientific papers about these topics. Besides other books, he is co-author of Configuration in Industrial Product Families, published by IOS Press. Lothar is furthermore active in the German national knowledge-based configuration community (PuK) and in the international knowledge-based configuration community.

Claire Bagley has been the Director of the Oracle Advanced Constraint Technology (ACT) organization since June 2009. She manages the research and development of the Oracle ACT product, which supplies constraint solutions for Oracle applications. In addition, she is the author or co-author of numerous patents in Constraint Programming and in the Configuration application domain. Her research and development interests include configuration systems, planning and scheduling systems, as well as all application domains that may benefit from constraint programming and mathematical programming solutions. Claire also acts as an organizer and committee member in international conferences including The European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI), The International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), The International Conference on Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Operations Research (OR) Techniques in Constraint Programming, and The International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming.

Juha Tiihonen is a researcher at Aalto University, School of Science. His research interests include product and service configuration in various forms, including modeling, configurators, operations management aspects of business processes based on product and service configuration, design for configuration, and recommendation of configurable offerings. He has published numerous articles on these subjects, and he is an active member of the scientific community of knowledge-based configuration. Additional research interests stem from supporting service business of equipment suppliers based on advanced utilization of information about their service base that includes both their and their competitor's product individuals. What are key decisions in the context of services such as "full service" or "operate and maintain"? What information is required and how do we get it? How do we model that information? How do we process it into actionable form?

In this Book

  • Foreword
  • Motivation for the Book
  • A Short History of Configuration Technologies
  • Configuration-Related Topics
  • Benefits of Configuration Systems
  • Overview of the Book
  • Configuration Knowledge Representation and Reasoning
  • Conflict Detection and Diagnosis in Configuration
  • User Interfaces for Configuration Environments
  • Core Capabilities of Sustainable Mass Customization
  • Smarthome Configuration Model
  • Knowledge Engineering for Configuration Systems
  • Redundancy Detection in Configuration Knowledge
  • Personalized Configuration
  • Consumer Decision-Making and Configuration Systems
  • Configuration-Related Research Challenges
  • SIEMENS—Configuration and Reconfiguration in Industry
  • Tacton—Use of Tacton Configurator at FLSmidth
  • encoway—From ERP-Based to Sales-Oriented Configuration
  • Kapsch—Reconfiguration of Mobile Phone Networks
  • Configuring and Generating Technical Documents
  • Configuring Services and Processes
  • encoway
  • WeeVis
  • VariSales
  • Product Configuration in SAP—A Retrospective