The globalization of collaboration in engineering design has raised several new concerns regarding information sharing. In particular, data shared during collaboration has the potential to leak private information through inferences that may be made by another collaborator. Enterprises that must keep certain information confidential, fearing loss of intellectual property, may turn down potential collaborations that would otherwise be mutually beneficial. Thus, there is need for a method to study this tradeoff between confidentiality and value in engineering collaboration. In this paper, a framework for analyzing this tradeoff is proposed, along with an illustrative example of a possible implementation and its effects on the collaborative design process. This framework estimates and quantifies the confidentiality loss and value gain associated with information revelation during design iterations. We believe that such analysis would aid designers in making better decisions about sharing information with their collaborators. Studying this tradeoff may incentivize designers to engage in more frequent, and more secure, collaboration.

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