Product Models in Network Based Co-operation in Structural Engineering
The Priority Programme ‘Network Based Co-operation in Structural Engineering’ of the ‘German Research Foundation’ (DFG) has been established in the year 2000. This paper describes and discusses the main research directions and first results of the workgroup ‘Distributed Product Models’. The five projects of the workgroup have developed completely different solutions for specific application domains. Each solution concept deals with a consistent product modeling and knowledge processing in a distributed environment in the planning process. The individual solution approaches of the projects are described and the underlying basic assumptions are discussed. A unified system architecture is described for all projects of the workgroup. Two different approaches (object-oriented and graph-based models) have been introduced for product and knowledge modeling. The common structure of these models will be explained to fully understand the differences of these modeling approaches. Finally the concepts for co-operative work and conflict management in a distributed environment are described: The solution approaches will be distinguished by classifying the supported co-operation according to time. A final scientific summary describes the state-of-the-art in network based co-operation in structural engineering: The role of research directions like knowledge modeling, standard product modeling and versioning in the distributed planning process will be explained.
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