Using STEP for Modelling Multiple Views on Product
Corresponding Author: Ghodous, Parisa
Author(s): Ghodous, P.
Organisation(s): LIGIM, University of Lyon (France)
One of the major problems in a collaborative environment is how to represent and integrate the different experts' viewpoints. This paper presents our approach for modeling the information related to each viewpoint and the way that we can integrate these different viewpoint models.

In the first part, the introduction, we describe the collaborative environment, the techniques of modeling of information and our objectives. In the second part we describe the problem of multi-view and we present the current developments and research works. In the third part we present some examples in the domain of mechanical, electrical and construction engineering. We study the different models related to different viewpoints for each discipline. In the fourth part, we describe our model which represents the necessary concepts for integration of different viewpoints information. At last, we conclude and give the perspectives of our works.

Introduction

In a collaborative engineering environment different types of experts in different disciplines are involved to develop a product. Each of these experts has his own viewpoint about the product and its development processes. To facilitate the communication of information in this type of environment we need to find some solutions for representation and integration of different experts' viewpoints.

In the traditional environment the integration of information is difficult due to the linear organization approach of product development. In the modern product development using the new approaches such as concurrent engineering we need to represent correctly and completely the information about each activity as well as its different related viewpoints. To represent the information we should master the modeling techniques. In this section we describe the different modeling techniques and the existing formalisms and then we describe the characteristics of product data models.

Multi-view Problem

In a multi-view environment, different experts from different disciplines or different experts of the same discipline may wish to collaborate. The current research works for representation of information of multi-view environment can be classified into two approaches:

* Unique model approach: In this approach the objective is to create a common, consensual and unique model between the different views which is capable to represent all the information of each view.

* Multi model approach: In this approach the objective is to create a unique model for each view and then try to find the relations between these models.

In this section we describe these different approaches in detail.

Examples of application

In this section firstly we describe the independent models defined for each view of a simple building and then we describe the different relations between these models. In the second example, we have chosen a mechanical product and we describe the different viewpoints models and the way to integrate these models. These models are described by EXPRESS that is a language developed by ISO 10303 called STEP. The STEP standard is an international standard for representation and exchange of product data models. For each example, we analyze the functions and then we relate the resulting functional model to the other product data models, such as structure, geometry, materials, ... . By these examples we can see clearly the problem of multiview for different disciplines and for a single discipline.

Multi-view Model

In our meta-model we have defined some necessary concepts of multi-view problem. Some of these concepts represent the information related to point of view, functions, constraints, coherence rules, product data (all the information related to life cycle of product such as geometry, materials, tolerances, structure of product, etc.) and relations between these concepts. We describe this meta-model in detail.

Concluding Remarks

We have described the problem of multi-view in collaborative environment of product development. We have developed a model which represent the information, solving the problem of multi-view. To develop this model we have studied the examples in the domain of mechanical, construction and electrical engineering. To represent the concepts related to product data we have used the STEP standard. We have added the concepts such as functionality, point of view, etc. to model the problem of multi-view. We have represented some coherence rules between different models. In the future we will focus our works on formalization of these rules and we try to complete our model.