Collaborative Design and Manufacture: Information Structures for Team Formation and Coordination
Our interest here lies in supporting important, but routine and time-consuming activities that underpin success in highly distributed, collaborative design and manufacturing environments; and how information structuring can facilitate this. To that end, we present a simple, yet powerful approach to team formation, partner selection, scheduling and communication that employs a different approach to the task of matching candidates to opportunities or partners to requirements (matchmaking): traditionally, this is approached using either an idea of ‘nearness’ or ‘best fit’ (metric-based paradigms); or by finding a subtree within a tree (data structure) (tree traversal). Instead, we prefer concept lattices to establish notions of ‘inclusion’ or ‘membership’: essentially, a topological paradigm. While our approach is substantive, it can be used alongside traditional approaches and in this way one could harness the strengths of multiple paradigms.