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CIVIL ENGINEERING COMPUTATIONS: TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Situated Design Computing: Principles
Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and
J.S. Gero, "Situated Design Computing: Principles", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Civil Engineering Computations: Tools and Techniques", Saxe-Coburg Publications, Stirlingshire, UK, Chapter 2, pp 25-35, 2007. doi:10.4203/csets.16.2
Keywords: design computing, situatedness, first-person knowledge, constructive memory.
This paper introduces the principles of situated design computing. Situated design computing expands the concept of computing from being the encoding of objective knowledge that is fixed by the programmers of the system to include first-person knowledge acquired while the programs are being used. This first-person knowledge forms the basis of the system's experience which is then made available as the system is used further. The four principles of situatedness are presented along with the basic concept of the mechanism by which such systems operate: constructive memory.
The paper introduces the distinction between first-person and third-person knowledge. Whilst much of human knowledge is objective, and is therefore third-person knowledge, i.e., it does not depend on the person that deduced it. There is a category of everyday knowledge that depends on the person rather than deduction. This knowledge is developed based on first-person interaction with the world. This class of knowledge is sometimes inappropriately encoded as deductive knowledge and in so doing often causes a mismatch between the experience of the person who encoded the knowledge and a subsequent user of that knowledge.
The four principles on which situatedness is founded are:
In addition to these four principles there is one lemma that provides the basis for the re-use of the first-person knowledge in the form of constructive memory:
Computationally memory has come to mean a thing in a location. The thing can take any form and the location need not be explicitly known. The thing can be accessed by knowing either its location or its content. There are a number of distinguishing characteristics of this form of memory:
Situatedness and constructive memory together form the basis of a new kind of computing of potential use to designers called situated design computing.
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