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id maver_107
authors Chen, Yan and Maver, Tom W.
year 1997
title Integrating Design Tools within a Human Collaborative Working Context
source International Journal of Construction IT, Vol5, No 2, pp 35-53
summary Integrating design tools has been an important research subject. The work to be reported in this paper differs from many previous efforts in that it not only tackles tool-tool interoperation, but also does so within a human collaborative working context We suggest that design integration support should include not only tool interoperability, but also mechanisms for co-ordinate and control the tool use. We also argue that the higher-level management support should include not only formalised and automated mechanisms, but also semi-automated and even informal mechanisms for human designers to directly interact with each other. Within a collaborative working framework, we'll present a hybrid architecture for tool integration, in which the human designers and the design tools are assumed to be distributed while the management is centralised. In this approach, each design tool is wrapped as an autonomous service provider with its own data store; thus the project design data is physically distributed with the design tools. A meta-data augmented product model, which populates a central meta-data repository serving as a "map" for locating the distributed design objects, is devised to provide a common vocabulary for communications and to assist the management of the distributed resources and activities. A design object broker is used to mediate among the distributed tools, and the central meta-data repository. The reported work has been part of a collaborative design system called virtual studio environment We'll illustrate how the integrated design tools might be used in human design work within the virtual studio environment.
series other
email t.w.maver@strath.ac.uk
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