READEE: Reuse Assistant for Designs in Electrical Engineering

Re-using electrical engineering designs from the past requires that the engineer has enough experience and knowledge about existing designs, in order to be able to find candidates that are suitable for reuse in his specific new situation. Searching databases of existing designs can be an extremely time consuming task because there are currently no intelligent tools to support the engineer in deciding whether a given design from a database can be easily adapted to meet the specification of his new application. Because of this, until now the most effective way of design reuse is designer reuse. The READEE project has been initiated to explore and realize new methods to overcome these problems. Unlike other reuse attempts, READEE does not try to incorporate a complete and mathematically correct model of design rules to decide whether an old design is re-usable for a new specification. Instead, it employs Case-Based Reasoning techniques and uses a similarity-based approach that relies on suitable heuristics and makes decisions in a way very similar to the decision making process of a human designer. Latest research results from the area of Case-Based Reasoning are employed to develop a system that is able to suggest old designs that are re-usable for a given new task.



READEE was funded by the Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Innovation, State Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The Project was carried out between June 1997 and September 2001.

Research Team



  • M. Koegst, J. Schneider, Ralph Bergmann, and Ivo Vollrath. Utilizing Constraint Satisfaction Approaches for IP Retrieval. In Workshop on System Design Automation, Rathen, 2000.


  • Ralph Bergmann, and Ivo Vollrath. Generalized Cases: Representation and Steps Towards Efficient Similarity Assessment. In KI-99, 1999.

  • Ralph Bergmann, Ivo Vollrath, and T. Wahlmann. Generalized cases and their application to electronic designs. In E. Melis, editor, 7th German Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning, 1999.

  • M. Koegst, J. Schneider, Ralph Bergmann, and Ivo Vollrath. IP Retrieval by solving constraint satisfaction problems. In FDL '99, Second International Forum on Design Languages, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon, France, 1999


  • Ivo Vollrath, Wolfgang Wilke, and Ralph Bergmann. Intelligent Electronic Catalogs for Sales Support- Introducing Case-Based Reasoning Techniques to On-Line Product Selection Applications. In Proceedings of the 3rd World Conference on Soft Computing: Advances in Soft Computing - Engineering Design and Manufacturing, 1998, Springer.

  • P. Oehler, Ivo Vollrath, P. Conradi, Ralph Bergmann, and T. Wahlmann. READEE - Decision Support for IP Selection using a Knowledge-Based Approach. In IP'98, 1998.