An ontology framework for developing platform-independent knowledge-based engineering systems in the aerospace industry

I. O. Sanya, E. M. Shehab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the development of a novel knowledge-based engineering (KBE) framework for implementing platform-independent knowledge-enabled product design systems within the aerospace industry. The aim of the KBE framework is to strengthen the structure, reuse and portability of knowledge consumed within KBE systems in view of supporting the cost-effective and long-term preservation of knowledge within such systems. The proposed KBE framework uses an ontology-based approach for semantic knowledge management and adopts a model-driven architecture style from the software engineering discipline. Its phases are mainly (1) Capture knowledge required for KBE system; (2) Ontology model construct of KBE system; (3) Platform-independent model (PIM) technology selection and implementation and (4) Integration of PIM KBE knowledge with computer-aided design system. A rigorous methodology is employed which is comprised of five qualitative phases namely, requirement analysis for the KBE framework, identifying software and ontological engineering elements, integration of both elements, proof of concept prototype demonstrator and finally experts validation. A case study investigating four primitive three-dimensional geometry shapes is used to quantify the applicability of the KBE framework in the aerospace industry. Additionally, experts within the aerospace and software engineering sector validated the strengths/benefits and limitations of the KBE framework. The major benefits of the developed approach are in the reduction of man-hours required for developing KBE systems within the aerospace industry and the maintainability and abstraction of the knowledge required for developing KBE systems. This approach strengthens knowledge reuse and eliminates platform-specific approaches to developing KBE systems ensuring the preservation of KBE knowledge for the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6192-6215
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • knowledge-based engineering
  • model driven
  • ontology
  • platform independent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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