Mass-collaborative product development refers to a paradigm where large groups of people compete and collaborate globally to develop new products and services. In contrast to the traditional top-down decomposition-based design processes, the primary mechanism in mass-collaborative product development is bottom-up evolution. Hence, the issues underlying mass-collaborative processes are fundamentally different from those in traditional design processes. For example, instead of determining the best sequence in which activities should be carried out, the emphasis is on developing the right conditions under which product evolution can be fostered. Existing research on product development is primarily focused on top-down design processes. The evolutionary nature of mass-collaborative product development has received very little attention. Specifically, computational models for these processes have not been developed. In this paper, a step toward understanding the fundamental processes underlying mass-collaborative product development using a computational model is presented. The model presented in this paper is based on an agent-based modeling approach, which allows the modeling of the behavior of different entities within a product development scenario and the study of the effect of their interactions. The model captures the information about (i) products as modules and their interdependencies, and (ii) the participants involved and their strategies. The benefits of the agent-based model in understanding mass-collaborative product development are shown using a simple product model. The following aspects of the product development processes are studied: (a) the rate of evolution of the individual modules and the entire product, (b) product evolution patterns and the effect of the number of participants, (c) the effect of prior work on product evolution, (d) the evolution and distribution of participants, and (e) the effect of participant incentives. The agent-based modeling approach is shown as a promising approach for understanding the evolutionary nature of mass-collaborative product development processes.

1.
Tapscott
,
D.
, and
Williams
,
A. D.
, 2006,
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
,
Penguin
,
New York
.
2.
3.
2008, “
Linux Online—About the Linux Operating System
,” http://www.linux.org/info/index.htmlhttp://www.linux.org/info/index.html.
5.
Apache Software Foundation
, 2008, “
The Apache HTTP Server Project
,” http://httpd.apache.org/http://httpd.apache.org/.
6.
Panchal
,
J. H.
, and
Fathianathan
,
M.
, 2008, “
Product Realization in the Age of Mass Collaboration
,” ASME Paper No. DETC2008-49865.
7.
von Hippel
,
E.
, 2005,
Democratizing Innovation
,
MIT
,
Cambridge, MA
.
8.
9.
2008, “
The Open Prosthetics Project: An Initiative of the Shared Design Alliance
,” http://openprosthetics.org/http://openprosthetics.org/.
10.
Sawhney
,
N.
, 2003,
Cooperative Innovation in the Commons: Rethinking Distributed Collaboration and Intellectual Property for Sustainable Design Innovation
,
MIT
,
Cambridge, MA
.
11.
Sawhney
,
N.
,
Griffith
,
S.
,
Maguire
,
Y.
, and
Prestero
,
T.
, 2002, “
ThinkCycle: Sharing Distributed Design Knowledge for Open Collaborative Design
,”
International Journal of Technologies for the Advancement of Knowledge and Learning (TechKnowLogia)
,
4
(
1
), pp.
49
53
.
12.
Jakiela
,
M.
, and
Zheng
,
J.
, 2008, “
Wedesign: A Forum-Based Tool for Managing User-Generated Content in Engineering Design and Product Development
,” ASME Paper No. DETC2008-50107.
13.
McAfee
,
A. P.
, 2006, “
Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration
,”
MIT Sloan Management Review
,
47
(
3
), pp.
21
28
.
14.
Chesbrough
,
H.
,
Vanhaverbeke
,
W.
, and
West
,
J.
, 2006,
Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm
,
Oxford University Press
,
New York
.
15.
West
,
J.
, and
Gallagher
,
S.
, 2006, “
Challenges of Open Innovation: The Paradox of Firm Investment in Open Source Software
,”
R & D Manage.
,
36
(
3
), pp.
319
331
. 0033-6807
16.
Wolpert
,
D. H.
and
Tumer
,
K.
, 1999, “
An Introduction to Collective Intelligence
,”
NASA
Report No. NASA-ARC-IC-99–63.
17.
Slawsby
,
A.
, and
Rivera
,
V.
, 2007,
Collective Innovation
,
MIT
,
Cambridge, MA
.
18.
Bonaccorsi
,
A.
, and
Rossi
,
C.
, 2003, “
Why Open Source Software Can Succeed
,”
Res. Policy
0048-7333,
32
(
7
), pp.
1243
1258
.
19.
Lerner
,
J.
, and
Tirole
,
J.
, 2002, “
Some Simple Economics of Open Source
,”
J. Ind. Econ.
0022-1821,
50
(
2
), pp.
197
234
.
20.
Lakhani
,
K. R.
, and
Wolf
,
R. G.
, 2005, “
Why Hackers Do What They Do: Understanding Motivation and Effort in Free/Open Source Software Projects
,”
Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software
,
J.
Feller
,
B.
Fitzgerald
,
S.
Hissam
, and
K. R.
Lakhani
, eds.,
MIT
,
Cambridge, MA
, pp.
3
21
.
21.
Osterloh
,
M.
, and
Rota
,
S.
, 2007, “
Open Source Software Development—Just Another Case of Collective Invention?
,”
Res. Policy
0048-7333,
36
(
2
), pp.
157
171
.
22.
Deshpande
,
A.
, and
Riehle
,
D.
, 2008, “
The Total Growth of Open Source
,”
Open Source Development, Communities and Quality
,
Springer
,
Boston
, pp.
197
209
.
23.
Crowston
,
K.
, and
Howison
,
J.
, 2005, “
The Social Structure of Free and Open Source Software Development
,”
First Monday
,
10
(
2
) http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1207/1127http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1207/1127.
24.
O’Mahony
,
S.
, 2003, “
Guarding the Commons: How Community Managed Software Projects Protect Their Work
,”
Res. Policy
0048-7333,
32
(
7
), pp.
1179
1198
.
25.
Bonabeau
,
E.
, 2002, “
Agent-Based Modeling: Methods and Techniques for Simulating Human Systems
,”
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
0027-8424,
99
(
3
), pp.
7280
7287
.
26.
Axelrod
,
R.
, 1997,
The Complexity of Cooperation: Agent-Based Models of Competition and Collaboration
,
Princeton University Press
,
Princeton, NJ
.
27.
Minai
,
A. A.
,
Braha
,
D.
, and
Bar-Yam
,
Y.
, 2006, “
Complex Systems Engineering—A New Paradigm
,”
Complex Engineered Systems—Science Meets Technology
,
D.
Braha
,
A. A.
Minai
, and
Y.
Bar-Yam
, eds.,
Springer
,
New York
, pp.
1
22
.
28.
Buede
,
D. M.
, 2000,
The Engineering Design of Systems: Models and Methods
,
Wiley
,
New York
.
29.
Brafman
,
O.
, and
Beckstrom
,
R.
, 2006,
The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
,
Portfolio
,
New York
.
30.
von Hippel
,
E.
, 2001, “
Innovation by User Communities: Learning From Open-Source Software
,”
MIT Sloan Management Review
,
42
(
4
), pp.
82
86
.
31.
Seybold
,
P. B.
, 2006,
Outside Innovation—How Your Customers Will Co-Design Your Company's Future
,
Collins
,
New York
.
32.
Nakakoji
,
K.
,
Yamamoto
,
Y.
,
Nishinaka
,
Y.
,
Kishida
,
K.
, and
Ye
,
Y.
, 2002, “
Evolution Patterns of Open-Source Software Systems and Communities
,”
IWPSE ‘02: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Principles of Software Evolution
, Orlando, FL,
ACM
,
New York
, pp.
76
85
.
33.
Gasser
,
L.
,
Scacchi
,
W.
,
Ripoche
,
G.
, and
Penne
,
B.
, 2003, “
Understanding Continuous Design in F/OSS Projects
,”
16th International Conference on Software and Systems Engineering and Their Applications
, Paris, Italy.
35.
Modell
,
M. E.
, 1996,
A Professional’s Guide to Systems Analysis
,
2nd ed.
,
McGraw-Hill
,
New York
.
36.
Browning
,
T. R.
, 2001, “
Applying the Design Structure Matrix to System Decomposition and Integration Problems: A Review and New Directions
,”
IEEE Trans. Eng. Manage.
0018-9391,
48
(
3
), pp.
292
306
.
37.
Prasad
,
B.
, 1996,
Concurrent Engineering Fundamentals: Integrated Product and Process Organization
, Vol.
1
,
Prentice-Hall PTR
,
Upper Saddle River, NJ
, p.
478
.
38.
Balling
,
R. J.
, and
Sobieski
,
J. S.
, 1996, “
Optimization of Coupled Systems: A Critical Review of Approaches
,”
AIAA J.
0001-1452,
34
(
1
), pp.
6
17
.
39.
Godfrey
,
M.
, and
Tu
,
Q.
, 2001, “
Growth, Evolution, and Structural Change in Open Source Software
,”
Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Principles of Software Evolution
, Vienna, Austria, pp.
103
106
.
40.
Lonchamp
,
J.
, 2005, “
Open Source Software Development Process Modeling
,”
Software Process Modeling
,
S. T.
Acuna
, and
N.
Juristo
, eds.,
Springer-Verlag
,
New York
, pp.
29
64
.
41.
Klein
,
M.
,
Sayama
,
H.
,
Faratin
,
P.
, and
Bar-Yam
,
Y.
, 2003, “
The Dynamics of Collaborative Design: Insights From Complex Systems and Negotiation Research
,”
Concurr. Eng. Res. Appl.
1063-293X,
11
(
3
), pp.
201
209
.
42.
Bar-Yam
,
Y.
, 2005, “
About Engineering Complex Systems: Multiscale Analysis and Evolutionary Engineering
,”
Engineering Self-Organizing Systems: Methodologies and Applications
,
S. A.
Brueckner
,
G.
Di Marzo Serugendo
,
A.
Karageorgos
, and
R.
Nagpal
, eds.,
Springer
,
New York
, pp.
16
31
.
43.
North
,
M. J.
, and
Macal
,
C. M.
, 2007,
Managing Business Complexity: Discovering Strategic Solutions With Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation
,
Oxford University Press
,
New York
.
44.
Macal
,
C. M.
, and
North
,
M. J.
, 2005, “
Tutorial on Agent Based Modeling and Simulation
,”
Proceedings of the 37th Winter Simulation Conference
, Orlando, FL, pp.
2
15
.
45.
Davidsson
,
P.
, 2000, “
Multi Agent Based Simulation: Beyond Social Simulation
,”
Multi Agent Based Simulation (LNCS)
, Vol.
1979
,
Springer
,
New York
.
46.
Tesfatsion
,
L.
, 2006, “
Agent-Based Computational Economics: A Constructive Approach to Economic Theory
,”
Handbook of Computational Economics
, Vol.
2
,
L.
Tesfatsion
,
K. L.
Judd
, eds.,
Elsevier
,
New York
, pp.
831
880
.
47.
Chen
,
S. -J.
, and
Lin
,
L.
, 2003, “
Decomposition of Interdependent Task Group for Concurrent Engineering
,”
Comput. Ind. Eng.
0360-8352,
44
(
3
), pp.
435
459
.
48.
Cho
,
S. -H.
, and
Eppinger
,
S. D.
, 2005, “
Simulation-Based Process Model for Managing Complex Design Projects
,”
IEEE Trans. Eng. Manage.
0018-9391,
52
(
3
), pp.
316
328
.
49.
Pimmler
,
T. U.
, and
Eppinger
,
S. D.
, 1994, “
Integration Analysis of Product Decompositions
,”
ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference
, Minneapolis, MN, pp.
343
351
.
50.
Smith
,
R. P.
, and
Eppinger
,
S. D.
, 1997, “
Identifying Controlling Features in Engineering Design Iteration
,”
Manage. Sci.
0025-1909,
43
(
3
), pp.
276
293
.
51.
Smith
,
R. P.
, and
Eppinger
,
S. D.
, 1997, “
Predictive Model of Sequential Iteration in Engineering Design
,”
Manage. Sci.
0025-1909,
43
(
8
), pp.
1104
1120
.
52.
Iansiti
,
M.
, and
Richards
,
G. L.
, 2006, “
The Business of Free Software: Enterprise Incentives, Investment, and Motivation in the Open Source Community
,” Harvard Business School Paper No. 07-028, Cambridge, MA.
53.
Riehle
,
D.
, 2007, “
The Economic Motivation of Open Source Software: Stakeholder Perspectives
,”
IEEE Computer
,
40
(
4
), pp.
25
32
.
54.
Baldwin
,
C. Y.
, and
Clark
,
K. B.
, 2006, “
The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model?
,”
Manage. Sci.
0025-1909,
52
(
7
), pp.
1116
1127
.
55.
Bergstrom
,
T.
,
Blume
,
L.
, and
Varian
,
H.
, 1986, “
On the Private Provision of Public Goods
,”
J. Public Econ.
0047-2727,
29
, pp.
25
49
.
56.
Johnson
,
J. P.
, 2002, “
Open Source Software: Private Provision of a Public Good
,”
J. Econ, Manage. Strategy
1058-6407,
11
(
4
), pp.
637
662
.
57.
Leadbeater
,
C.
, 2008,
We-Think: The Power of Mass Creativity
,
Profile Books Ltd.
,
London
.
58.
Ulrich
,
K.
, 1995, “
The Role of Product Architecture in the Manufacturing Firm
,”
Res. Policy
0048-7333,
24
, pp.
419
440
.
59.
2008, “
Drupal: Community Plumbing
,” http://drupal.org/http://drupal.org/.
60.
Jones
,
M. T.
, 2007, “
Anatomy of the Linux Kernel: History and Architectural Decomposition
,” http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-linux-kernel/http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-linux-kernel/.
61.
Tisue
,
S.
, and
Wilensky
,
U.
, 2004, “
NetLogo: A Simple Environment for Modeling Complexity
,”
International Conference on Complex Systems
, Boston, MA.
You do not currently have access to this content.