Although Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are forming the basis for a rapidly growing industry and fields of research, many MEMS designers still rely on back-of-the-envelope calculations due to a lack of efficient computer-aided design (CAD) tools that can assist with the initial stages of design exploration. This paper introduces case-based reasoning (CBR) techniques to the design of MEMS, as part of a larger MEMS synthesis framework currently under development at UC Berkeley. Having the ability to draw upon past design knowledge is advantageous to the MEMS designer, allowing reuse and modification of previous successful designs to help deal with the complexities of a new design problem. CBR utilizes past successful MEMS designs and sub-assemblies as building blocks stored in an indexed library. Reasoning tools find cases in the library with solved problems similar to the current design problem in order to propose promising conceptual designs. This paper discusses case representation and case library design as well as the results of case retrieval studies, focusing on MEMS resonant structures. The paper recommends strategies for integrating the MEMS case library with evolutionary computation when parameter optimization over the retrieved conceptual designs is not sufficient or there are gaps of knowledge in the case library.

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