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DFG Project: EVOWIPE - Explicit Forgetting of ontology - based knowledge in product development

In product development reuse of product models and product development processes leads to considerable savings of costs and time. Due to existing IT systems supporting product development, such models and processes can be retrieved as digital artefacts. Beyond sheer retrieval the successful re-use of previous knowledge, however, requires also the intentional forgetting (IF) of aspects that do not apply to the newly targeted product. – a major challenge because IF for product development is neither dealt with in existing process models nor in corresponding IT systems.

It is our aim to extend the product development process with systematic methods for intentional forgetting such that the product developer may master the complexity intrinsic in large product models and product development processes as well as the complexity germane to the process of forgetting itself. To this aim, we will (i) systematize methods of forgetting that are now implicitly used by developers, (ii) develop expedient, consistent and sound knowledge representation methods for intentional forgetting, (iii) integrate these methods in product development processes and (iv) validate the approach and generalize it in a revised procedure model. Doing so, EVOWIPE will achieve contributions in three areas:

  • Product development will be revised to include methods of intentional forgetting in a systematic and useful manner.
  • Ontology-based knowledge bases will be provided with novel IF operators that allow for (i) forgetting inferred knowledge including (ii) the remembering of forgetting actions, (iii) temporary forgetting, (iv) representation of product development gaps, and (v) cascading of forgetting operations.
  • The interdisciplinary collaboration between the two institutes will allow for integratingand validating novel IF operators in the product development process and for its generalization for future product development applications.

Operational time:

January 2017 - December 2019

Source of funding:

DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Priority Research Programme "Intentional Forgetting in Organisations"



Prof. Dr. Steffen Staab

Dr. Claudia Schon