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This paper reports on an experiment to test the feasibility of using a diagramming tool to access an architectural knowledge base. Our hypothesis is that designers only use a small set of conventional elements to make diagrams of architectural concepts. If this is true, then a scheme for retrieving information from computer knowledge bases using diagrams would work. Therefore we asked designers to make diagrams from texts, to interpret diagrams into texts, to pair diagrams and texts, and to comment on existing
pairs from the case base. We found from the experiment that common features are shared between different designers' diagrams and texts.