The use of faceted classification in the organisation of engineering design documents

M. D. Giess*, P. J. Wild, C. A. McMahon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

2 Citations (Scopus)


The adoption of a product service or support model in place of product provision has implications upon the strategies employed in the organisation and retrieval of engineering information. In order to ensure that such organisational schemes endure over the extended service time spans, the structure of these schemes must cater for all engineering viewpoints and provide the context necessary to comprehend the information content. Traditional, enumerative classification schemes generally cater for a limited viewpoint or perspective, however faceted classification addresses this by concurrently describing multiple aspects or facets of a given document and allowing retrieval to proceed via browsing of a given facet or combination of facets. Faceted classification was first formalised within the field of library science in the early 20 th century, and whilst notions of a faceted structures have been appended into primarily enumerative schemes there are few implementations of pure faceted models, arguably as within a library it is not possible to reorder physical documents according to a given facet of interest. Electronic documentation has no such physical restriction, and this has fuelled a resurgence in interest in faceted classification. Whilst the concept of faceted classification as a means of browsing is generally understood; the literature specifying how such a scheme should be created for a given domain is sparse, and distributed across different domains and eras. This paper reviews this literature and proposes a means by which the underlying theory may be more readily applied to engineering design documentation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ICED 2007, the 16th International Conference on Engineering Design
VolumeDS 42
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Event16th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2007 - Paris, France
Duration: 28 Jul 200731 Jul 2007


Conference16th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2007


  • Faceted classification
  • Information management
  • Knowledge management

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