Design of a semantic knowledge base to support the product development process
New product development today is a knowledge-heavy process, but very often this knowledge is not adequately handled, it’s not made readily available to the actors, or is lost within or between similar projects. Furthermore, different legacy tools and data storage systems are dedicated to handling the data related to a particular phase or aspect of product development, but usually they are disconnected and not available to other interested parties. This necessitates the usage of a centralized knowledge management solution, which will include and connect all the product and process related knowledge, and enable its availability and re-use. This paper presents the design of an ontology-centered knowledge base (KB) which serves as a central access point to knowledge for all human and software stakeholders involved in the product development process. The KB is a software framework consisting of several modules, which together provide the ability to store, retrieve, edit and search for knowledge, and the ontology specifies its structure (entity types and relationships) and its classification scheme.