Intelligent Support for Product Design: Looking Backward, Looking Forward

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering this article will provide a retrospective of past research on intelligent systems in engineering design research, and new perspectives. Intelligent systems and expert design knowledge have become important and integral parts of systems that support product design; they are embedded in many CAD tools, design knowledge repositories, design assistants, and design critics. Such tools have become common place for assisting designers in creating new designs, modifying old ones, or storing expert design knowledge for later use by oneself, other designers or future generations. Intelligent systems are becoming increasingly important as computer technologies have matured, and global competition has demanded increasingly better products, faster. As these trends continue, intelligent systems will be increasingly necessary for competitiveness. This retrospective will present past advances in a range of areas from model-based and case-based reasoning, machine learning, biologically inspired design, creative design, and virtual design. The work described has roots in many disciplines including engineering, artificial intelligence, psychology, human factors and management science. We present this work with an aim to identify directions in which the field is moving, and more importantly, to gain insights into future directions and critical areas for future research investments.