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An ontology-based approach to manage conflicts in collaborative design

Moisés Lima Dutra 1
1 SOC - Service Oriented Computing
LIRIS - Laboratoire d'InfoRmatique en Image et Systèmes d'information
Abstract : Today’s complex design projects require teams of designers to work collaboratively by sharing their respective expertise in order to produce effective design solutions. Due to the increasing need for exchanging knowledge, modern design projects are more structured to work with distributed virtual teams that collaborate over computer networks to achieve overall optimization in design. Nevertheless, in a collaborative design process, the integration of multidisciplinary virtual teams – involving exchange and sharing of knowledge and expertise – frequently and inevitably generates conflicting situations. Different experts’ viewpoints and perspectives, in addition to several ways of communicating and collaborating at the knowledge level, make all this process very hard to manage. In order to achieve an optimal scenario, some problems must first be solved, such as requirement specification and formalization, ontology integration, and conflict detection and resolution. Specifying and formalizing the knowledge demands a great effort towards obtaining representation patterns that aggregate several disjoint knowledge areas. Each expert should express himself so that the others can understand his information correctly. It is necessary, therefore, to use a flexible and sufficiently extensive data representation model to accomplish such a task. Some current models fall short of providing an effective solution to effective knowledge sharing and collaboration on design projects, because they fail to combine the geographical, temporal, and functional design aspects with a flexible and generic knowledge representation model. This work proposes an information model-driven collaborative design architecture that supports synchronous, generic, service-oriented, agent-based, and ontology-based teamwork. Particular representation models are transformed into ontology instances and merged together in order to accomplish the final product design. It is a synchronous approach because the concurrent processes are undertaken at the same time that the interactions among designers take place. It is generic because it provides the users with two approaches for ontology integration: the use of a predefined generic ontology and the harmonization process. Our proposal focuses on collaborative design conflict resolution by using Web Ontology Language (OWL) and Web Services, the former as a tool for knowledge representation and the latter as a technological support for communication.
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Moisés Lima Dutra. An ontology-based approach to manage conflicts in collaborative design. Other [cs.OH]. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2009. English. ⟨NNT : 2009LYO10241⟩. ⟨tel-00692473⟩

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