It is efficacious to capture and represent the knowledge for decision support in engineering design. Ontology is a promising knowledge modeling scheme in the engineering domain. In this paper, an ontology is proposed for capturing, representing and documenting the knowledge related to hierarchical decisions in the design of complex engineered systems. The ontology is developed based on the coupled Decision Support Problem (DSP) construct, taking into consideration the requirements for a computational model that represents a decision hierarchy. Key to the ontology is the concept of two classes, namely, Process which represents the basic hierarchy building blocks where the DSPs are embedded, and Interface which represents the DSP information flows that link different Processes to a hierarchy. The efficacy of the ontology is demonstrated using a portal frame design example.

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