A Computational Model for Synchronous Collaborative Design

M. Saad and M. L. Maher

Designers engaged in a team design project need to establish, develop, and maintain a shared environment in which they can collaborate. Design then emerges from the interaction between the participating designers. In this paper we consider issues involved in the development of computer-based design environments in which teams of design professionals can collahorat,~, focussing on the necd for visual and underlying representations which can support multiple interpretations. We consider tile environment as providing a shared workspace which facilitates both conununication and progression of design ideas, concepts, and drawings. In the environment presented here, the shared workspace has two focusses: the workspace that designers see and interact with, and tile workspace that provides an underlying computer-based representation for persistent memory. A representation is presented that can support the representation of semantic design knowledge that needs to be communicated during collaboration, as well as tile data needed by computer programs for displaying the geometry.

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