Design & Configuration

  • We already know all the components, just need to configure to fit the problem

  • Input: needs, goals, functions

  • Output: Artifact that satisfies those needs, goals or functions

  • With design, both the problem and solution evolve together

  • Think AI agents that design AI agents

Configuration: A problem-solving activity that assigns values to variables to satisfy constraints.

Configureation Process

configuration process

  • Start at the top left w/ specifications (think footprint of the basement example)

  • Begin abstract and refine/expand on each iteration

  • Middle method of abstract and partial solutions can be represented as a design plan

    • Specifies all the variables of the plan
    • ex. number of stories the house has
  • Lower level plan or refinement

    • ex. plan for each of the stories of the house
  • the arrangement may cause new specifications to come about, the process repeats

  • Output the arrangement model

Plan Refinement

Connection to Earlier Topics


  • Similar to classification system of loop(assign, refine)
  • classification is a way of making sense of the world
  • configuration acts on the world

Case-Based Reasoning

  • CBR: Starting from a specific chair and tweaking as needed
  • Conf: starting w/ prototype concept and assign values and variables to meet constraints


  • A planner that generates a plan
  • Confiuguration