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Author: Sadeghi, Mahsen
Supervisor: Noël, F. & Hadj-Hamou, K.
Institution: Universite de Grenoble
This thesis contributes to understand issues related to the consistency of models during collaborative product development. When, two designers work cooperatively to define solutions at the technical level of product design, they share many objects, parameters, or required pieces of information to create a common understanding of design intents. Because of timeframe issues, it may be difficult to schedule simultaneous cooperation between designers, so the asynchronous cooperation is mandatory to allow designers to reflect over different viewpoints, to check incoherencies and to take time to prepare a solution. The asynchronous modification and the maintenance of shared model requires the cooperation of several designers. It is important to find out how shared model evolves during design process, how and when change processes take place and when designers should synchronize the models or should take project review time. The incoherencies need to be detected and to be solved during synchronization process. The coherency maintenance is provided by the relationships between entities of the model and associated constraint control mechanisms. If it is quite easy to compare the differences between two homogeneous models, it is more complicate to extract conflicts due to technical incompatibilities. The objective of our work is 1) to extend the simple comparison method with business rules to take into account expertise knowledge in the conflict detection, 2) to provide a measure of the conflict in order to assist the decision about when cooperation will be required to solve the conflicts. We analyse a range of existing constraints in collaborative product development process and we propose a quite generic model for business rules, which can be used to address conflict management issues. We demonstrate that technical rules were not enough to efficiently measure when conflicts require a synchronisation to ensure the project convergence: organisation rules must be used. Thus we present a model involving the concept of meta-rules to assist this decision. It determines a control mechanism for model evolutions and indicates the cost of changes and their impacts in model evolutions to determine how and when change processes take place (time of models synchronization).