Standards representation and processing in the United States has had a long and interesting history of development. The work in the past has focused primarily on representing a standard, evaluating the intrinsic properties of that represented standard, and evaluating designs for conformance to that standard. To date, for a variety of reasons, standards writing organizations and computer-aided design software vendors have not adopted much of the results of this research. The failure of the approach so far in the U.S. can be traced to two distinct areas. One major cluster of causes is methodological: the initial concepts were not backed up by usable, persistent computer tools, and the initial application and model were not representative. The second cluster of causes of failure is professional, and has a lot to do with the dynamics of interaction of individuals and organizations. Future research must address the inadequacies of the current representations and create models that are able to represent all, or almost all, of the different types of provisions in any given standard, investigate and deliver a much richer set of processing functionality's, such as more support for use of design standards in earlier phases of design, support the treatment of multiple, heterogeneous standards available from distributed sources, and determine what type of support is needed to go from the textual versions of design standards to the formal models that can support sophisticated computation.
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