Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 July 2021
Engineers often need to discover and learn designs from unfamiliar domains for inspiration or other particular uses. However, the complexity of the technical design descriptions and the unfamiliarity to the domain make it hard for engineers to comprehend the function, behavior, and structure of a design. To help engineers quickly understand a complex technical design description new to them, one approach is to represent it as a network graph of the design-related entities and their relations as an abstract summary of the design. While graph or network visualizations are widely adopted in the engineering design literature, the challenge remains in retrieving the design entities and deriving their relations. In this paper, we propose a network mapping method that is powered by Technology Semantic Network (TechNet). Through a case study, we showcase how TechNet’s unique characteristic of being trained on a large technology-related data source advantages itself over common-sense knowledge bases, such as WordNet and ConceptNet, for design knowledge representation.