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Functions in Biological and Artificial WorldsComparative Philosophical Perspectives$
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Ulrich Krohs and Peter Kroes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262113212

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262113212.001.0001

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A Device-Oriented Definition of Functions of Artifacts and Its Perspectives

A Device-Oriented Definition of Functions of Artifacts and Its Perspectives

Chapter:
(p.203) 12 A Device-Oriented Definition of Functions of Artifacts and Its Perspectives
Source:
Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds
Author(s):

Yoshinobu Kitamura

Riichiro Mizoguchi

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262113212.003.0012

This chapter demonstrates that in spite of the importance of the notion of function for engineering practice there is no common interpretation of it. It proposes a device-oriented definition of function that is related to device behaviors. It defines “function” as a role played by a behavior in its use context. It describes the definition of the function of technical artifacts from the device viewpoint. It uses local functions as the base-functions in order to realize composability of device models. This chapter suggests that a generic reference ontology of function can clarify the ontological differences between functional vocabularies and thus enhance the interoperability of functional knowledge.

Keywords:   device-oriented definition, functional knowledge, technical artifacts, generic reference ontology, ontological differences, functional vocabularies

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