Date of Original Version
Abstract or Table of Contents
Abstract: "A grammar is a definition of a language written in a transformational form. To the extent that design requirements and designed artifacts can be represented by some language, and to the extent that design is a transformation from function to form, grammars may facilitate the development of theories and methods for design. Furthermore, the computational complexity of various grammatical formalisms may provide a foundation upon which to base complexity measures in design. We discuss grammatical formalisms and give examples of how grammars might facilitate design automation. The syntax and lexicon of a formal language are analogous to the configuration and the components in an engineering design.Similarly, the complexity of alternative grammatical formalisms is related to the complexity of design, and to the specific representations chosen. Attribute grammars are convenient for managing relationships among engineering parameters, even when configurations are not known a priori. In this way the grammatical formalisms provide a bridge between conventional rigid parameterizations and ad hoc design representations."