This paper presents a Petri-net process model that captures the dependency relationships of design decision making and information exchanges among multiple design problems in a distributed environment. The Model of Distributed Design (MDD) allows quantitative representation of a collaborative design process in which designers from multiple disciplines can effectively work together. The MDD is developed based on the Petri-net graph, which allows various performance analysis to be performed to evaluate and improve a collaborative design process. In this paper, the compromise Decision Support Problem (c-DSP) formulation is used to describe the design problems and the Petri-net is utilized to explicitly describe the propagation of shared design variables and the interactions. The applicability of the model is demonstrated through an example design problem that requires collaboration among four design disciplines. The design processes based on the example are modeled and then analyzed to obtain process features and performance evaluations. Based on the analysis results, an improved design process is given which shortens the design time.

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