Abstract

Collaborative engineering involves multiple engineers and managers working together to develop engineering products. As the engineering problems become more and more complicated, new technologies are required to achieve better effectiveness and efficiency. While process models management and technologies have been developed to support engineering design, most of them apply only to routine design tasks and do not explicitly deal with the change of processes during execution. Our research proposes a process-driven framework to support collaborative engineering. The framework is composed of a process model that captures both high level and low level activity dependencies, an agent network that monitors process execution and facilitates coordination among engineers, and a Petri-net based modeling tool to represent and analyze process features and predict the performance of engineering processes. In this paper, we first describe a simple collaborative design problem and our proposed ActivePROCESS collaborative engineering framework. After that we present our Petri-net based analytical model of collaborative design process and discuss the model along with a case example.

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