This paper deals principally with two important issues of design automation, the use of abstract design problem solving to guide detail design in top down refinement models, and the incorporation of multiple requirements in design. An iterative, incremental methodology involving generation and selection of abstract decompositions and of abstract operators defining design moves is described. Multiple requirements are handled by organizing relevant evaluation, generation and choice knowledge around individual requirements and providing each requirement with the capability to determine when it has a contribution to make, what that contribution should be, and how it interacts with other requirements. The methodology has been implemented as part of the MOSAIC project and is illustrated by examples of the automated preliminary design of mechanical structures.

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