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Software process improvement for knowledge engineering


The need to cope with object oriented methods, artificial intelligence and ICAD, is being driven by Shorts business needs to remain competitive by producing quality products, whilst reducing design modelling costs and design lead times. As a result of the pilot projects having reduced CAD modelling costs by 73% the ICAD software teams must expand to cope with the demand for the development of further ICAD applications. Before scaling up ICAD software development, it is necessary to improve the software process from its current ad-hoc approach to a managed and repeatable maturity level, where any improvements are sustainable.

The objective of the PIE is to define an iterative process for the elicitation of knowledge and to establish an organisational and procedural framework for the development of object oriented software, across the complete life cycle. In addition the PIE will define Software Quality Assurance, project and configuration management functions to ensure adherence to procedures, control of the project, and control of the configuration of document and source code deliverables.


The experiment will be performed around the generation of an ICAD model for a generic engine nacelle bid process. This aims to consider all engineering aspects and to generate a number of options with their respective bill of materials.

Short Brothers Plc employs 8000 people, 6 of them are involved in the Knowledge Based Systems team.


Shorts expects to gain experience in keeping complex, long term ICAD projects under control in a project and configuration management context. Shorts further aims to implement a reliable ICAD software development procedure for improved quality and reuse. If successful this will bring Shorts to level 2 on the Capability Maturity Model and best in class for European ICAD development.


Short Brothers Plc
Airport Road
BT3 9DZ Belfast
United Kingdom