NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: E2.08-8200 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013799 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
Constraint-based Workflow Management for Life-Cycle Analysis and Design

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The development of large scale engineering projects for spacecraft and mission components taking into account life-cycle design criteria requires the integration of the efforts of experts with various backgrounds, diverse tools, located at remote locations, and over time-intervals of months and years. At the core of this challenge lies the uncovering of constraints that lie far ahead in the life-cycle of the designed component. To address this challenge we propose the development of an environment for Constraint-based Workflow Management for Life-Cycle Analysis and Design through the integration of collaboration and workflow technologies with constraint management techniques. The proposed environment uses collaboration functionality to support the early elicitation, detection and updating of constraints that define the designed component throughout its life-cycle. The detection of life-cycle constraints is further aided by the connectivity between designers and design tools facilitated through the same collaboration environment. A constraint management engine notifies designers of occurring constraint violations, while at the same time applying the constraints to the workflow configuration, to continuously re-shape the flow of design activities. The cycle of constraint definition, management and application to the design workflow ensures design consistency and quality for first-of-a-kind design projects, where little previous design knowledge is available.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The proposed approach offers considerable application potential for an entire range of commercial and government domains. Commercial versions of the effort described herein will address the need for coordination and dynamic integration in distributed decision-making processes with a high degree of complexity, such as mission planning operations, distributed scientific experiment design, and team-training. The approach offers significant support in enhancing large projects with constraint knowledge that describes the evolving and specific nature of the system. The model has high relevance to decision-making problems spanning over extended time periods, requiring a persistent representation of constraints, and a continuous detection of inconsistencies. Representative potential applications include logistic operations, long-range scheduling problems, and manufacturing problems.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Dr. Dan Grecu
Charles River Analytics Inc.
725 Concord Ave.
Cambridge , MA   02138 - 1094

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Charles River Analytics Inc.
725 Concord Ave.
Cambridge , MA   02138 - 1094


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44