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Edit nilo.hw5 here.Homework Assignment # 5
Nilo Tsung

1. What did you find interesting and not interesting about the article?
The most interesting part is very this paper gives very good comments on conventional expert systems in comparison with the cooperative problem-solving system. This paper also gives very good system-by-system history about how these researchers came up with this innovative approach to deal with design problems.

I love this paper very much. It is an inspiring paper. I do not find any not interesting parts in this paper. I have made a copy of this paper, and recommended to my advisor, Prof. Diekmann, put it in the reading list for all graduate students in our program.

2. What do you consider the main message of the paper?
Computer-based information systems should make us - the users- smart. Computers should help us to achieve our tasks faster and better. In other words, we got to understand our cognitive limitations and the strengths of computers. In short, intelligent systems should greatly augment the user’s cognitive abilities. As a designer, we should design human-centered artifacts.

3. Are there some themes discussed in the article you would like to know more about?
No. I hope in the class we can have a demo for this cool system discussed in this paper.

4. Do you know of other papers, ideas, and systems which are closely related to (1) DODEs (2) Critiquing?
a. No.
b. Value Engineering in construction management allows cost estimating consultants to review and question the facilities designers to find alternatives which serve same functions but with lower cost. I think the practice of Value Engineering is Critiquing.

Construction management consults normally will provide opinions on constructability for the facilities just being designed. They critique whether construction contractors will encounter some difficulties or not during the construction time.

5. What does the article say about (1) design, (2) learning, (3) collaboration, and (4) innovative media support these activities?
(1) design: knowledge about design domain is incomplete and evolving. The problem requirements can be specified only partially. Necessary design knowledge is distributed among many design participants.
(2) learning: critiquing is an important method for all the participants to learn from each other, especially when the design work involves distributed knowledge among participants. This kind of learning can be considered as learning-on-demand type.
(3) collaboration: Computer-based design systems can be categorized into conventional expert systems and cooperative problem-solving systems. We can think these two paradigms of systems as human-computer collaboration. Expert systems try to include all the knowledge, while cooperative problem-solving systems only use embedded critics – software agents.
(4) innovative media: Systems should evolve with emerging innovative media.

6. Do you have any ideas about how this research could/should be extended based on your own knowledge and experience?
The concepts and research approach in this paper are great. I would like to apply them to construction management very much. Especially, we are in this post expert systems era, and there are so many so-called intelligent systems for this or for that, but they are not very useful, only bear great names.

On the top of my head, there is one application in construction management. Design/build is a very hot issue in both academia and industry as far as construction is concerned. In construction industry, traditionally architects and civil engineers do design work, while construction contractors build the designed facilities. Usually, the owner of the facilities asks the designer (either the architect or the civil engineer, it depends on the nature of the facilities) to be his/her agent supervising the process of construction, such as quality control, scope-of-work control, cost control, schedule control, etc. Naturally, these two parties pick on each other all the time. Contractors complain the designed facilities cannot be built; designer-agent treats those contractors only know how to cut the corner and file lawsuits against everyone else. This kind of hostility between the designer-agent and contractors are notorious for many decades. The new concept of design/construction integration aims to build a more friendly relationship between these two parties throughout the entire processes of construction. I think the approach of the embedding critics system can facilitate the integration of design and construction activities in the construction industry.

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