The growth of computer science and technology has brought new opportunities for multidisciplinary designers and engineers to collaborate with each other in a concurrent and coordinated manner. The development of computational agents with unified data structures and software protocols can contribute to the establishment of a new way of working in collaborative design, which is increasingly becoming an international practice. In this paper, we first propose a computational model of collaborative product design management aiming to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the cooperation and coordination among participating disciplines. Then, we present a new framework of collaborative design which adopts an agent-based approach and relocates designers, managers, systems, and supporting agents in a unified knowledge representation scheme for product design. An agent-based system is now being implemented and the design of a set of dinning table and chairs is chosen to demonstrate how the system can help designers in the management and coordination of the collaborative product design process.

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