The goal of Dedal is to facilitate the reuse of engineering design experience by providing an intelligent guide for browsing multimedia design documents. Based on protocol analysis of design activities, we defined a language to describe the content and the form of technical documents for mechanical design.
We use this language to index pages of an Electronic Design Notebook which contains text and graphics material, meeting reports and transcripts of conversations among designers. Index and query language with concepts from a model of the designed artifact.
The information retrieval mechanism uses heuristic knowledge from artifact model to help engineers formulate questions, guide the search for relevant information and refine the existing set of indices. Dedal is a compromise between domain-independent argumentation-based systems and pure model-based systems which assume a complete formalization of all design documents.