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Knowledge-based artificial neural network (KB-ANN) in engineering: Associating functional architecture modeling, dimensional analysis and causal graphs to produce optimized topologies for KB-ANNs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication38th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
PublisherThe American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASME
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780791851739
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: 26 Aug 201829 Aug 2018


ConferenceInternational Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
CityQuebec City


This article documents a study on artificial neural networks (ANNs) applied to the field of engineering and more specifically a study taking advantage of prior domain knowledge of engineering systems to improve the learning capabilities of ANNs by reducing the dimensionality of the ANNs. The proposed approach ultimately leads to training a smaller ANN, offering advantage in training performances such as lower Mean Squared Error, lower cost and faster convergence. The article proposes to associate functional architecture, Pi numbers, and causal graphs and presents a design process to generate optimized knowledge-based ANN (KB-ANN) topologies. The article starts with a literature survey related to ANN and their topologies. Then, an important distinction is made between system behavior centered topologies and ANN centered topologies. The Dimensional Analysis Conceptual Modeling (DACM) framework is introduced as a way of implementing the system behavior centered topology. One case study is analyzed with the goal of defining an optimized KB-ANN topology. The study shows that the KB-ANN topology performed significantly better in term of the size of the required training set than a conventional fully-connected ANN topology. Future work will investigate the application of KB-ANNs to additive manufacturing.


  • Additive Manufacturing, Artificial Neural Networks, Classifiers, Dimensional Analysis, Empirical learning, Knowledge Based Artificial Neural Network

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