Abstract: As customer preference is viewed as a reflection of desires for product features and even future product opportunities, it is crucial for the generation of design concepts. In this paper, a six-stage methodology is described for developing customer preference by using engineering ontology. The methodology mainly focuses upon understanding the product domain knowledge and preference concepts. A modeling process of the preference ontology for searching, indexing, and retrieving domain knowledge is described. The taxonomies of the customer preferences are elicited by classifying specific concepts. The definition of preference concepts and their ontological relationships are extracted. The objective is to allow product designers to generate customer preference ontologies for their specific products. At first, the documents or catalogs of design requirements are normalized by using ontology-based semantic representation. Design specification formalization is required for system input. A model of preference elicitation from customers is proposed based on ontology knowledge for concept generation. Secondly, the attributes of the customer preferences are classified by identifying the root concepts and developing a kind of preference taxonomy as well as their relationships to each other. They are mapped to engineering ontologies for driving high-level preference concept generation. A customer preference knowledge modeling is developed to construct a thesaurus for preference terms within the domain ontology. Finally, the evaluation and analysis are given to describe the validity of concept generation from customer preferences.
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