Consistency-Based Configuration

Gerhard Friedrich and Markus Stumptner

Research in automated configuration is a traditional core application area for knowledge-based systems that is increasing in commercial relevance, but there exists no generally agreed basic formal representation scheme. Based on a small simplified example taken out of the knowledge base of an deployed configuration application, we describe a configuration knowledge based on an analogy to the classic consistency based diagnosis approach. A configuration problem is formally described in terms of a logic theory that depicts a part library and set of requirements, and a configuration is a set of components and connections that satisfy the library and requirements. We propose a "reference algorithm" in analogy to the standard HS-Dag diagnosis algorithm and show how CSP-based configuration representations can be expressed in terms of the consistency-based representation. The various parts of that representation possess direct counterparts in the representation language used by the commercial COCOS configuration tool.

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