Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

ArgoShip: a structured methodology for the ship predesign process

AgroShip provides an explicit structured framework for a rationalized ship predesign process. In this the successful utilization of modern information technology tools, techniques and methodologies play an important role. Improvements in the ship predesign process and predesign quality are also achieved through rationalization and the resulting reduction of the areas of uncertainty.

Basic features of ArgoShip, implemented in the prototype include:
top-down decomposition of the process to identify and define essential functions and tools;
user driven recomposition of such functions and tools to converge to a ship product (SUD) with specific features which are defined in the requirements tender form (RTF). In this bottom-up approach the blackboard is the global data storage, the agenda contains the functions eligible for execution at any stage of the design, whereas in the journal the complete history of the process is stored;
the kernel of the prototype system is neutral and independent of the physical problem. The kernel simply provides all the necessary utilities in order to handle design functions and tools;
a process monitor and a control mechanism is built into the kernel. This validates the actions of the user, checks the blackboard parameters for consistency and, if necessary, provides a backtracking mechanism to be activated on user's request;
the kernel includes facilities to provide guidance to the user, necessary for selecting the correct design steps towards convergence;
integrated interfaces with functions and tools are outside the scope of the project. Interface with tools is effected from files, simply for the purpose of demonstrating the software system capabilities.

The ArgoShip prototype is essentially a tool able to manage any kind of technical information, suitable not only in the shipbuilding industry, but also in other industrial environments.

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