J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 DOI 10.


A comprehensive modeling framework for collaborative networked organizations
Luis M. Camarinha-Matos · Hamideh Afsarmanesh

Published online: July 2007 © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Abstract Collaborative networked organizations (CNOs) are complex entities whose proper understanding, design, implementation, and management require the integration of different modeling perspectives. A large number of modeling tools and theories that have been developed in other disciplines have a potential applicability in this domain. Therefore, an identification of the most promising approaches is made and mapped into four dimensions of an endogenous perspective of collaborative networked organizations: structural, componential, functional, and behavioral. But a comprehensive modeling of such complex dynamic systems requires also an exogenous perspective, the life cycle dimension, and a stratification of models according to the modeling purpose. Thus a comprehensive modeling framework is therefore proposed as a first step towards the elaboration of a reference model for collaborative networks. Keywords Collaborative networks · Virtual organizations · Virtual enterprises · Modeling framework

Introduction Modeling is one of the key activities in understanding, designing, implementing, and operating systems. Modeling is at the very heart of any scientific and engineering activity. When a team of researchers or system designers develop a new system, the output of the design phase is a model or set of
L. M. Camarinha-Matos (B) New University of Lisbon, Quinta da Torre, 2829-516 Monte Caparica, Portugal e-mail: cam@uninova.pt H. Afsarmanesh University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands e-mail: hamideh@science.uva.nl

models of the system to be implemented. A model, as an abstract representation of the intended system, will then be used to guide the implementation. Due to a number of practical contingencies, the implemented system might show some (minor) differences regarding the original model (usually the case). Furthermore, a model is also very useful in order to supervise (manage) the operation of the developed system during its life cycle. Complementarily, a model can also be used to predict the behavior of the system being developed or managed. As in any other scientific discipline or engineering branch, collaborative networked organizations (CNOs) require the development of models, not only as a help to better understand the area, but also as the basis for the development of methods and tools for better decision-making. In fact proper decision-making in all phases of the CNO life cycle needs to be based on well argued and verified models and methodologies. These models and methodologies constitute the basis for the ICT-based support for business and organizational development and operation, as well as the base for education, training, and effective operation of CNOs. CNOs are complex systems, emerging in many forms in different application domains, and consist of many facets whose proper understanding requires the contribution from multiple disciplines. However, an analysis of past modeling efforts indicates that practitioners and researchers are not fully aware of a comprehensive spectrum of suitable modeling processes, tools, and methodologies. For instance, very often modeling is restricted to a “processes view” (e.g. SCOR type of models for traditional supply chains). Or they stick with one approach such as using UML even though it might not the most appropriate approach for all or a part of the modeling effort. This situation is however improving and lately some theories and paradigms defined elsewhere have been suggested


four dimensions are proposed as follows: Modeling needs in CNO In the context of a complex system like a CNO. And yet existing knowledge on diverse manifestations of “traditional” collaborative networks is quite fragmented. • Functional dimension. 2004. manufacturing). politics. it is unlikely that any of these theories and modeling methods will cover all needs of CNO. in some cases. This dimension addresses the principles. policies. though incomplete. etc. new forms of collaborative networks and new patterns of behavior are being invented and explored. Nevertheless. the appropriateness of semi-formal methods. 2006a. with the main goal of increasing their preparedness towards collaboration in potential Virtual Organizations (Afsarmanesh & Camarinha-Matos. Camarinha-Matos & Afsarmanesh. and adoption • Structural dimension.g. 123 . This perspective addresses the structure or composition of the CNO in terms of its constituting elements (participants and their relationships) as well as the roles performed by those elements and other characteristics of the network nodes such as the location. For instance. This paper analyses a set of relevant modeling needs for CNOs. not all of them possess a strong formal background. in the VOSTER project (Löh. the resource composition such as human elements. Not all these elements are “physical” in a strict sense but rather represent the “things” of which the network is built of. systems engineering. which also leads to different types of models. & Katzy 2005) several purposes for modeling in this domain were also considered. can provide valuable insights towards a preliminary level of understanding of new collaborative forms. 1 illustrates some of the important questions a modeler may pose when attempting to model a virtual organizations breeding environment (VBE). being urgent to proceed with an integration and formalization effort. for VO management a large number of modeling purposes are typically considered (bottom part of Fig. Nevertheless. simulating/predicting the behavior of CNOs. Zhang. In these cases. Eschenbaecher & Ellmann. time. software and hardware resources. 1). purely formal methods in addition to being hard to apply are also difficult to follow by those not familiar with such methods. or even informal analogies as represented by metaphors. adhering to a base long term cooperation agreement. This perspective addresses the “base operations” available at the network and the execution of time-sequenced flows of operations (processes and procedures) related to the “operational phase” of the CNO’s life cycle. etc. cognitive sciences. it is important to establish a framework for modeling that structures and guides the modeling process. This perspective is used in many disciplines (e. This dimension focuses on the individual tangible/intangible elements in the CNO’s network. There is no single formal modeling tool/approach that adequately covers all perspectives—no “universal language” for all problems. of common operating principles and infrastructures. e. we must acknowledge that this area is addressed by a large variety of people with different backgrounds. Included here are elements such as principles of collaboration and rules of conduct. semi-formal models. Certainly many other relevant questions may be asked in relation to a VBE. CNO modeling dimensions As a first attempt to reach a comprehensive modeling framework for CNO modeling. information and knowledge. the componential dimension also consists of ontology and the description of the information/knowledge repositories that pertain to the CNO. the top part of Fig.530 J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 by several research groups as promising tools to help understand and characterize emerging collaborative organizational forms (Camarinha-Matos & Abreu. conflict resolution policies. they can be used as a starting point but extensions or adaptations are needed. In the same way many purposes are identifiable for Professional Virtual Communities (PVCs) and other forms of CNOs. Based on those examples. Given this large diversity of modeling purposes. contracts. 2003. extending previous partial contributions (CamarinhaMatos & Afsarmanesh. 2003). On the other hand. • Behavioral dimension. This might suggest. 2005). economy. although with different “wording” and diversified tools. Similarly. and governance rules that drive or constrain the behavior of the CNO and its members over time. of modeling purposes were identified for various kinds of CNOs. In ECOLEAD a large number. and suggests a modeling framework for CNOs integrating multiple perspectives.g. Furthermore. • Componential dimension. and certainly also for software development. As such. for which it is not feasible to develop fully consistent formal models at start. software engineering. modeling is fundamental for understanding. Dissemination and communication is one important purpose for modeling CNOs. and even many of the ICT practitioners do not have a formal education on computer engineering or computer science. managing. b) considers a collection of tools and theories developed elsewhere that might be useful here. A VBE is an association of organizations and their related supporting institutions.

Profiles. Two (or more) actors can be linked through a number of different types of relationships. . namely in terms of their competencies. and that if elements in different dimensions are bound to each other. 2—Connection between an organization’s structural component (e. the role and skill of the personnel) within a CNO. Structural dimension (a) Actors/relationships—identifying all the participating actors (nodes) in the network as well as their inter-relationships (arcs). Every model represents specific (and orthogonal) aspects/perspective/dimension of a CNO. 3.. (d) Ontology resources—representing the main (common) ontologies used in the network and that facilitate the mutual understanding among the network members. client-supplier. and infrastructures used/shared in the network. or people. with these four dimensions every CNO can be comprehensively defined (modeled) by the collection of its four models. sharing. e. planner. as well as a set of (weak) bindings across the constituents of those models. then changes in one dimension affect the elements of the other dimensions weakly across some region of relevance. readiness.? -Performance histroy? -Catalog of products / services? -Indicators – performance. etc. rights/ duties of the organization in a VO) and the behavioral model counterpart (e..? -Value system model? -Trust model? -VBE marketing elements? Roles How do I evolve / metamorphose my VBE? How do I create a VO? -Business opportunity model? -Profiles of potential partners? -Performance history of partners? -Contract models / templates? -Negotiation process? -Constraints? IPR? Benefits model? Structures Directories Rules Principles Functions Processes Constraints VO Management Modeling Purposes ? Constructs & Tools ? Templates ? Taxonomies Ontologies What about my VO? -Who are the partners & roles? -What is the business goal? -Business processes model? -Competencies & resources? -Contract & agreements model? What about performance? -Records & indicators? -Events & exceptions? -Supervision process? -Quality control process? Resources How do I manage my VO? -Process models? -Decision support mechanisms? -Conflict resolution process? -Optimization methods? -Risk management procedures? -Inheritance principles? -Performance records? -Property rights model? -Liabilities model? How do I dissolve my VO? These specific dimensions are chosen for the reason of their "near-orthogonality" in the sense that they are primarily disjoint in dividing this sub-space. The suggested dimensions are still very general and it is important to consider a finer level of granularity. in other words. roles.g. In terms of ICT equipment this model can include the architecture of the computer network supporting the collaboration. (b) Roles—describing and characterizing the roles that can be performed by the actors in the network.g.g. extending the number of workers in one organization (a componential element of modeling an organization) may change the options in a process workflow (a functional element of modeling that organization). The actors can be enterprises. coordinator. profile. broker. One example can be the ontology of competencies available in the network. As such.g.. Functional dimension (a) Processes—this sub-dimension is concerned with the processes involved in the main line of activities of 123 . . etc. software. the personnel) and the structural model counterpart (e. to consider a set of sub-dimensions for each dimension. other types of organizations.g. A role defines an expected behavior for an actor in a given context. Two examples for bindings follow: 1—Dependencies and bounds between the componential components (e. competencies.. etc. Examples of roles include member. the contract component in the VO).J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 Fig. In the case of manufacturing networks it can include the layout of the shared facilities as well as the logistics networks. Componential dimension (a) Hardware/software resources—characterizing the equipment. (c) Information/knowledge resources—under this subdimension we can include the repositories of information and knowledge that are shared by the network members or that support the collaboration processes and the networked organization. (b) Human resources—a characterization of the human resources available in the network. 1 Examples of modeling purposes How do I create my VBE? -Members’ selection process? -Governance rules and procedures? -Responsibilities & liabilities model? -Contracts and agreements model? 531 VBE Modeling Purposes ? Constructs & Tools ? How do I manage my VBE? -Members directory . For example. Therefore the following set of sub-dimensions is initially proposed for a CNO modeling framework: 1. potential roles they can perform. co-authoring. 2.

For instance. In this table the letters [SD]. They are frequently represented as a semi-structure set of steps (informal enumeration of activities) combined with some structured representation of input/ output information. like UML. There are in fact several “gray areas” of applicability. Examples include performance monitoring processes. Some theories and tools have a generic nature. developed elsewhere. An example is a set of restrictions on the use of intellectual property of one member by other members of the network. An example can be the methodology to be followed by a broker to announce a business opportunity to the CNO members. (c) Methodologies—typically less formalized than processes. by illustration. but just a contribution to give a rough idea of the many possibilities that can be considered. An example can be the internal rules used for distribution of benefits or for sharing the operational costs of the network. An example is a recommendation for CNO members to give preference to network peers when searching for partners for a business opportunity. in part. etc. also relate to the structure of the network. Nevertheless it shall be noted that these sub-dimensions are not exhaustive. respectively. 4. This map is not exhaustive and certainly not fully accurate. [FD]. They are shown mainly to better characterize. These generic tools include (Table 5) Figure 2 represents a simplified attempt to establish a map relating theories/tools to the modeling dimensions.532 J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 the collaboration. Another aspect to consider is that some theories might cover. Nevertheless they shall be considered as important candidates to some or all of the modeling dimensions. The suitability of a theory/tool to be applied to a particular modeling perspective also depends on the experience of the modeler with that theory/tool. [BD] stand for Structural. UML or formal engineering methods are quite general and thus potentially applicable to all modeling dimensions. etc. more than one dimension or subdimension. 123 . 2. Nevertheless there are some generic theories/tools (associated to CNO modeling framework in the center) that are "good for everything". are potentially useful in modeling CNOs or in giving insights to better understand these networks. Not all these possibilities are represented in Fig. In this direction. (d) Contracts and cooperation agreements—covering both the contracts between the CNO and external customers and the internal contracts and cooperation agreements among the network members. Behavioral dimension (a) Prescriptive behavior—capturing the elements that lie down or prescribe normative guidelines or rules for the proper behavior of the CNO such as (general) principles. [CD]. and Behavioral dimension. the scope of each dimension. Processes represent the main structured part of the operational activities of the network. An example is the distributed business processes in a business oriented CNO. and in order to not make the map too complex. 2. represent the body of practices. For instance. complexity theories can be linked to the functional and behavioral dimensions. It would be a matter of practical convenience for the CNO community to have a kind of map or “shopping list” relating such tools and theories to the CNO modeling needs or modeling dimensions. ontology. there are other modeling tools that have a generic applicability or have been already widely used in the CNO’s community and therefore were not studied in this work. governance values and associated rules. in a limited way. (b) Obligatory behavior—describing those rules and principles that are mandatory to be followed inside the network. procedures. Functional. These models may include both representations understandable to humans and to software systems. In addition to these theories and associated tools. and rules used mainly by human actors in a CNO. VO management. and enforcement steps. competencies management processes. there are some sub-dimensions for which there is no specialized theory that is particularly suited (e. Tables 1–3 illustrate these dimensions and sub-dimensions in the case of a VO breeding environment. and professional virtual communities (PVC). Map of potential approaches A large number of theories and tools. As also shown in Fig. Componential. For instance. and protocols. others are very specific. only what currently seems to be the most important and obvious links are represented. deontic logic is quite specific and potentially useful in the modeling of some aspects of behavior. Therefore.g. hard/soft resources). (b) Auxiliary processes—including those processes that are designed to assist the CNO in terms of its maintenance and improvement of operations. strategies. on the other hand. self-organizing systems could. Table 4 illustrates the potential applicability of the various theories with respect to the four modeling dimensions introduced above. (c) Constraints and conditions—representing those “environmental features” that limit the context of operation of the CNO and its members. Another example could be the recommended protocol when negotiating a contract. This includes policies.

VO creation process. Competency management process. Broker. VO evolution process. Decisions communication procedure. Governance policies. VO topology. Rewarding and Sanctioning principles. etc. Resource use constraints. etc. etc. etc. VO management services. Aux. VBE adhesion contract. Directory of running VOs. VBE creation processes (initiation & recruiting. Conflict resolution procedure. Decision making procedure. etc. Performance data. VO member. Risk sharing rules. processes Methodologies Behavioral Prescriptive behavior Obligatory behavior Constraints & conditions Contracts & agreements Examples VO members. coordination links. etc. Directory of members. Patents. VO contract. Trust management process. etc. Conflict resolution procedure. Brokering principles. Record of past performance. foundation). Competences and Profiling management approach. Activity reporting rules. Metamorphosis process. Constraints on timing for interactions (when partners in different time zones). VO coordinator. etc. etc. VBE administrator. Commitment rules. Performance management procedure. Profit distribution rules. etc. Profile and competencies ontology. VO consortium agreement. Human actors performing a role in the VO Product/service model. etc. ICT infrastructure Common software tools. non-profit institutions. etc. etc. VBE advisor. VO re-organization process. General (common) ontology. Assets management process. Common ontology. (Domain specific) machines. etc. etc. common collaboration support tools. Leadership principles. VO dissolution process. Incentive creation process. Competencies assessment process. VO planner. Performance measurement process. 123 . trust links. Human actors performing a role in the VBE. Planning processes. commercial tools with special agreement with VBE. Simulation processes. etc. Decision-making principles. processes Methodologies Behavioral Prescriptive behavior Obligatory behavior Constraints & conditions Contracts & agreements Table 2 Application example for VO management Dimension Structural Componential Sub-dimension Actors/relationships Roles Hardware resources Software resources Human resources Info/Knowledge Ontology resources Functional Processes Aux. etc. etc. Fulfillment and alerting process. etc. Membership eligibility principles. VO planner. Supporting VO transparency process. Constraints on the use of some resources. VBE cooperation agreement. VBE behavior rules (Ethical code and culture). VBE specific services. VO support (shared) machinery. VBE member. Control flow and Material flow links. Marketing & promotion process. etc Bylaws. VO contract management process. etc. etc. VO manager/coordinator. Profile and competencies ontology of VO members. Ranking and Ratings. Performance reporting rules. VO management approach. etc. Constraints imposed by the external environment. possible cultural constrains. VBE Monitoring process. collaboration links. Members registration procedure. VO broker. Contract templates for VOs. ICT infrastructure.J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 Table 1 Application example for a VO breeding environment Dimension Structural Sub-dimension Actors/relationships Roles Componential Hardware resources Software resources Human resources Info /Knowledge Ontology resources Functional Processes Examples 533 VBE members (business entities. Business process model. Contractual constraints. etc. lessons learned. support institutions). Legal constrains to VBE due to differences in government laws among countries.

others don’t and leave it up to the modeler to chose a representation formalism.534 Table 3 Application example for PVC Dimension Structural Sub-dimension Actors/relationships Roles Componential Hardware resources Software resources Human Resources Info/Knowledge Ontology resources Functional Processes Examples J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 PVC Member (knowledge workers. For instance. member’s IPR info. ICT infrastructure. Formal methods facilitate automatic verification of the properties of the system being modeled as well as automatic synthesis of system components. informal methods normally use natural languages for which are easier to understand by human interlocutors. Ontology management process. etc. Human resources (professionals and auxiliary staff). the purpose and scope of the model. In other words. sharing knowledge. Business ontology. On the other hand not all theories and modeling approaches are at the same level. PVC Initiator. getting a rough idea of what it covers. Member ontology (profile). the actual answer depends on the background of the modeler. Aux. PVC start up process. it is well known that formal models. etc. looking for business opportunities. Attempts to introduce formal methods have been exercised in the areas of systems automation and software engineering. However. PVC Member. Steps for initializing a PVC. a reader not familiar with Social Network Analysis can see that this theory is a kind of specialized branch of Graph Theory. they are however problematic when confidence in correctness is desired. On one hand. Business announcement procedures. environment constraints (access rights). but lack precise semantics. due to their strong mathematical foundation. In fact some of them are specializations of others or show a strong dependency on others. Many researchers in these areas claim that the more formal a model is the more correct. But they are quite hard to handle by humans. some state that 123 . As the mentioned theories and modeling approaches were originated in different scientific disciplines. etc. processes Methodologies Behavioral Prescriptive behavior Obligatory behavior Constraints & conditions Contracts & agreements Another relevant observation is that some theories also propose a specific modeling language/tool (e. etc. Tree of competencies/skills ontology (member & PVC). Templates for the PVC external contract. Member’s internal evaluation process (competences. etc. Informal and semi-formal methods not always give adequate results in terms of correctness and precision. IPR rules. Trust management process (socializing process). Advanced Collaborative Platform—PVC services. etc. precise. complete. Inheritance process. what is the desired level of formalization to be applied in CNOs? From a purely theoretical point of view. semi-formal graphical representations such as data flow diagrams are easily readable. The PVC “Bylaws”. tools. i. Templates for the VT agreement. which may lead to ambiguous interpretations and turn reasoning or “automation processes” more difficult. Business negotiation procedures. Member’s subscription process. A recurrent debate can be found on the appropriate level of formalization to be used in the models. PVC general body of knowledge ontology. PVC governance policies. through association with others. freelancers. Conflict resolution procedure. 3. are likely to reduce ambiguity and errors and thus are generally preferable as a basis in consolidated disciplines. etc. Broker. the theory of Petri nets suggests a specific graphical modeling language). as illustrated in Fig. etc). Subscription procedure. even those with and engineering background. VT and member record of past performance. employers of a VBE enterprise)/Social collaboration. Nevertheless this diagram can help the reader in “locating” each theory or modeling approach. it is not easy to fully inter-relate them. Competency management process (knowledge process). PVC Administrator. Templates for the Internal project contract (PVC adhesion contract). Social & knowledge sharing protocols (way of conduct). among other factors such as the level of maturity of the knowledge in the considered domain. etc. Business negotiation protocols. etc. PVC Administrative process. namely for automatic synthesis and verification. etc. successes. The level of “maturity” of each approach/ theory is also different (Table 6). and unambiguous the resulting system remains. Furthermore.e. Performance indicators management process. Motivation induction process. and provide some sort of “organization” or “structure” to the descriptions. Marketing and promotion process. On the other hand. etc. etc.g. Member’s profile (skills & competencies) info. VT creation and metamorphosis processes (business process). Membership agreement. Penalties corresponding to the PVC rules’ breach.

J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 Table 4 Some theories and their potential applicability in CNOs Theory/Tool Benchmarking Complexity theories Potential contribution to CNO modeling 535 [FD] Assessment of performance in comparison with a reference (benchmark). giving insights on how these societies can be organized and their behavior regulated through norms and institutions. – Non-cooperative game theory: selection of partners. Decision support Deontic logic Distributed group dynamics Diversity in work teams Evolving ontologies Federated systems [FD] Give a basis for developing methods to assist humans in decision making. [FD] Use of probabilistic inference to update and revise belief values. [BD] Modeling of emergent behavior in advanced networks. activity. [SD] [CD] [FD] [BD] Rigorous specifications (mathematical-based) with potential application in verification and synthesis of systems. [SD] Providing a vision of the CNO as a federation of autonomous. routing. [SD] Representation of the structure of the network —topology. network discovery. [BD] Simulation of self-organizing behavior. [SD] [FD] Specialized graph theory-based algorithms for application in network management systems (mostly applied in telecommunication networks). [ CD] Providing visual representations of knowledge which can facilitate analysis of the CNO and its resources. [BD] Analysis of leadership behavior. [SD] Characterization of the diversity of individuals and cultures found in CNOs and analysis of the potential induced by this diversity. [SD] Focus on inter-group relationships such as power. [SD] [CD] [FD] [BD] Solve design problems (architecture. but very hard to develop. 123 . [FD] Can provide concepts for decision-making. Can be used in early stages (conceptual design) as long as they are not taken too literally. value of information and sensitivity analysis. [CD] Distributed data/information repositories. sustaining cooperation and trust building. compliancy. [FD] Understand transformation of information or knowledge from one cultural and language environment to others in such a way that the understanding and conception of the source information or knowledge would be the same for all. power relations. protocols. Causality analysis and support a form of automated learning (parametric discovery. heterogeneous. e. which can be useful in the governance of behavior. decision to create a VO for a business opportunity. hostility. [ BD] Help understanding some aspects of the dynamics of evolutionary processes (cognitive and business) in multi-cultural contexts.g. evaluation of the minimum profitable bid in a call for tenders.g.: – Cooperative game theory: distribution of responsibility and resources. including assessment of processes. Formal engineering methods Formal theories Game theory Graph theory Knowledge mapping Memetics Metaphors ML/Bayesian networks Multi-agent systems [FD] [BD] Model societies of autonomous. coalition formation and negotiation. and distributed sources of resources (data /information. [BD] Model interactions with formalized incentive structures. [SD] [CD] [FD] [BD] Quick description for human communication namely a possible help in expressing complex ill-defined concepts. [CD] To capture the evolution of mutual understanding among members of the network. “it is forbidden that …”. [FD] Methods for forecasting emergent behavior. Relate roles with authorized access to and visibility of resources. Can support complex inference modeling including rational decision making systems. etc. If developed for specific perspectives/subsystems. but still is offering limited results. Multi-agent dependency theory Network analysis Portfolio theory Real options theory Scopos theory [FD] [SD] Representation of social interactions among agents—dependency relations. Qualitative (macro) understanding of CNO’s life cycle. etc. [FD] Brokering. trustworthiness. leadership. [FD] Methods to perform computations on flows and optimization. and causal relationships discovery). etc. distributed and heterogeneous entities. [FD] Decision making such as in VO creation (to select the optimal VO from a VBE) [FD] Decision making. and suggestion of best practices. flow. etc. trustworthiness. “it is permitted that …”. services). Very hard to apply. verification of specifications according to correctness and completeness). e. [BD] Represent in a formal way aspects such as “it is obligatory that …”. can contribute to reduce ambiguities and provide a sound basis for further developments.

[FD] Organize and systematize the trust building and trust management processes. Potential applications include evolution of ontologies. [BD] Help understanding emerging behavior and emerging values. 2 An attempt to map modeling theories applicable to CNOs Social network analysis Distrib. [FD] Help in predicting evolution. uncertainty. Fig. Prescribe norms and roles—epistemic. group dynamics Federated Systems Graph theory Multi Agent dependency Network Analysis Formal theories Formal Enginr methods UML Hard / soft resources Human resources Federated Systems Actors & relationships Structural dimension Roles Componential dimension Info/Knowledge resources Ontology resources Knowledge mapping Diversity in work teams Workflow Scopos theory Petri nets Processes Auxiliary processes Evolving ontologies Federated Systems Game theory Semiotics CNO Modeling Framework Ontology Network Bench Analysis marking Decision support Game theory ML / Bayesian Portfolio theory net Prescriptive behavior Functional dimension Metaphors Behavioral dimension Obligatory behavior Constraints & conditions Contracts & agreements Memetics Methodologies Graph theory Real options theory Distributed Group dynamics Deontic logic Multi Agent dependency Multi Agent systems Complexity theories Temporal Soft & modal computing logic Syner getics Transaction Web & Soft Cost Text Trust computing theory mining build models Self organizing systems Modeling dimension Taxonomy of modeling dimensions Suitable to model the dimension Modeling sub-dimension Modeling tool / theory 123 . web documents. J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 [SD] Analysis of social and organizational structure of CNOs. [FD] Modeling or processes and auxiliary processes. [FD] [BD] Represent and exploit the tolerance for imprecision. being a generic tool. partial truth. finding business opportunities. [FD] Modeling or processes and auxiliary processes. [BD] Model responsibility relationships and commitments. [FD] [BD] Focus on the representation of temporal information within a logical framework. [FD] Understand and analyze governance structures based on transaction costs. Particularly important to model human and social aspects.536 Table 4 continued Theory/Tool Self-organizing systems Semiotics Social network analysis Soft computing Synergetics Temporal and modal logic Transactions cost theory Trust building models Web & text mining Potential contribution to CNO modeling [BD] Understanding and simulation of self-organizing behavior. However. Can be used to model temporal aspects of processes and some aspects of behavior. deontic and axiologic. including provision of a number of metrics. it does not properly capture all specificities of each dimension. Table 5 Additional tools and their potential applicability in CNOs Ontology Petri nets Workflow UML [SD] [CD] [FD] [BD] Representation of the main CNO concepts and their relationships. and approximation. [FD] Analysis and knowledge discovery from unstructured data: documents in free text form. [SD] [CD] [FD] [BD] Generic object-oriented modeling tool (graphical language) with potential application to all dimensions of CNO. Ongoing research may lead to useful results on the inclusion of soft-modeling aspects. etc.

difficulties to employ formal methods emerge when one tries to formalize a complex system as a whole. Text-mining applications (e. graphical (Diversity of graphical tools) Probabilities (FIPA standards). 1996. Ontology representation frameworks (e. In fact the modeling scope in CNOs does not only focus on the software components but rather involves many other perspectives of a socioorganizational nature that are hard to model. “many highly publicized projects proclaimed as great formal methods successes formalized only 10 percent or less of the system”. when analyzing the state practice of adoption of formal models in the last 10 years. (Visio. Bowen & Hinchey.g. 2006). Probabilistic Reasoning. it would be interesting to think of combining the best of traditional models with the best of formal methods in order to achieve a “semirigid” level of formalization for CNOs. Nevertheless. Genetic Computing Logic-based Text mining methodologies and techniques. 2006. RDFS). set theory (Mathematical) Mathematical / set theory. Therefore. VDM. Triple20) Graphical. Rose) XPDL. Ontology editors (e. … First order languages. 2003. RAISE. Since a complete formalization of the properties of a whole (complex) system is not feasible in practice. A-UML (Mathematical / Probabilities) (Graph theory + statistics) Fuzzy Logic. Rat. Neural Computing. algebraic Graphical. Liu. There is also a large variety of purposes and users for the developed models. George & Vaughn.g. OWL. Estelle. 2005). a realistic approach is to consider that most modeling efforts at this stage have to be based on semi-formal 123 .g. … Petri nets UML Workflow Level of formalization: Semi-formal Formal Informal / descriptive Specific modeling language: No (resorts to a variety of “languages”) Yes (Which? examples) Maturity level: On-going research Mature &still being extended Stable and mature formal methods with properly defined semantics can predict potential solutions to the system’s behavior resulting in a more efficient and easily maintainable system (Alexander. According to (Bowen & Hinchey. TOKO) Ontology engineering methodologies and techniques.J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 Table 6 Some characteristics of considered theories Theory / Tool Benchmarking Complexity theories Decision support Level of formalization Includes specific modeling language / Examples (Statistical methods) Decision Trees Multi-attribute Modeling Bayesian networks Logic-based Maturity level 537 Deontic logic Distributed group dynamics Diversity in work teams Evolving ontologies Federated systems Formal engineering methods Formal theories Game theory Graph theory Knowledge mapping Memetics Metaphors ML/ Bayesian networks Multi-agent systems Multi-agent dependency theory Network analysis Portfolio theory Real options theory Scopos theory Self-organizing systems Semiotics Social network analysis Soft computing Synergetics Temporal and modal logic Transactions cost theory Trust building models Web & text mining Other tools Ontology Z. Protégé. WS-BPEL.

In addition to a variety of tangible elements and resources inside the CNO.e. Exogenous interactions This perspective aims at reaching an abstract representation of the CNO as seen from the outside. it is important to consider both its internal and external aspects (Fig. or shall be obeyed by the CNO participants. and needless to say that in every CNO there are a set of activities and functionalities that also need to be abstracted. how to see the network from inside (as in traditional systems modeling) and from outside (i. and in specific sub-areas. there are certain rules of behavior that either constitute the norms. The four dimensions—E1-Structural. concepts. i.e. E4-Behavioral—introduced previously are adequate to model the CNO from the inside perspective. the interactions between the CNO and its surrounding environment) (Camarinha-Matos & Afsarmanesh. inside the CNOs. b). there are always networks of organizations in which each node plays a specific role and has heterogeneous relation- Surrounding environment CNO Exogenous Interactions Endogenous Elements Fig. rules and regulations. E3-Functional. etc. 3 “Modeling islands”—some dependency relationships between theories approaches. formal models can be progressively attempted in order to facilitate both the scientific progress and the engineering activities. which characteristic 123 .538 J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 use Formal Theories Graph Theory Emergent Behavior Formal (Engineering) Methods Network Analysis Probabilistic modeling Logic Social Network Analysis Complexity Theories SelfOrganizing Systems Bayesian Networks Soft Computing Temporal & Modal Logic Deontic Logic Distributed & Autonomous systems Federated Systems Multi-agent Systems Multi-agent Depedency Theory Ontology Knowledge & Info modeling Activity / Data Flow languages can use Knowledge Mapping Semiotics UML Petri Nets Workflow Systems Evolving Ontology Web & Text Mining Qualitative methods Metaphors Distributed Group Dynamics Transactions Cost Theory Synergetics Diversity in Work Teams Scopos Theory Decision Support Methods Benchmarking Game Theory Portfolio Theory Real Options Theory Memetics Fig.e. building the endogenous elements abstract representation is challenging due to the large number of distinct and varied entities. Furthermore. 4) i. E2Componential. We can therefore consider two modeling perspectives: endogenous elements and exogenous interactions: Endogenous elements This perspective aims at providing an abstract representation of the CNO from inside. Towards a comprehensive modeling framework When modeling a CNO. To a lesser extend. namely the identification of a set of characteristic properties that can together capture the elements constituting CNOs. As discussed above. 4 Two modeling perspectives ships with other nodes. functionality. 2006a.

dealing with the constitution and start up. CNO-life-cycle perspective In a typical (long-term) organization. Currently three levels are being considered in our framework: • General concepts level—that includes the most general concepts and related relationships. A grasping-opportunity type of CNO such as a VO will typically dissolve after accomplishing its goal. that we call the metamorphosis stage. is the first step of this initiative. The creation stage can be divided into two phases. This dimension captures the issues related to the interactions between the CNO and the society in general. Our earlier study of the life cycle stages for CNOs has revealed 4 main stages for the CNO life cycle—Creation. are considered here. the interactions with those organizations that are not part of the CNO but that the CNO might be interested in attracting. potential new partners. public body decisions. The purpose/mission of the CNO.J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 539 properties the CNO reveals in its interaction with its “logical” surrounding environment. The ongoing plan for this work is to define “A Reference model for COllaborative Networks” (ARCON).g. A CNO as a whole might interact with. namely (i) initiation and recruiting. i. policies. Although this perspective can have a very broad scope. and Metamorphosis/Dissolution (Fig. This is certainly not a negligible fraction of time. the idea is to model the impacts the CNO has or potentially can have on the society (e. joint identity. (ii) foundation. potential for attraction of new investments) as well as the constraints and facilitating elements (e. it is much more probable that this CNO goes through another stage.g. market strategy. and be influenced by a number of “interlocutors”. external coaching. This perspective focuses on the interactions with the universe of potential new members of the CNO. considering its valuable bag of assets gradually collected during its operation. general issues like sustainability of the network. e. impact on employment. Operation. • Implementation modeling level—that represents models of concrete CNOs. • Societal dimension. I2-Support. can be considered. Metamorphosis Creation Initiation Foundation Operation OR Dissolution Evolution Fig. education level) the society provides to the CNO development. Evolution. etc. I4-Constituency—are proposed for the external or Exogenous Interactions perspective: • Market dimension. marketing and branding. earlier research on reference modeling for enterprises did not need to elaborate much on the life cycle perspective. dealing with the strategic planning and initial incubation of the CNO. its value proposition. This dimension covers both the issues related to the interactions with “customers” (or potential beneficiaries) and “competitors”. I3-Society. etc. The elaboration of a comprehensive modeling framework. 5 CNO life cycle stages 123 . Under this dimension the issues related to support services provided by third party institutions are to be considered. and due to the involved complexity. what builds/provides a sense of community. But unlike typical organizations.g. On the competitors’ side issues such as market positioning. In other words most successful organizations spend only a negligible fraction of their life time in their setting up and dissolution. economic sustainability of a given region. • Specific modeling level—an intermediate level that includes more detailed models focused on different classes of CNOs. attraction factors. insurance services. In the case of a long-term alliance such as a VBE. a CNO model can be defined at multiple levels of abstraction (model intent perspective). are also part of this dimension. In addition to these perspectives. etc. integrating all the above perspectives. legal issues. etc. Therefore. where it can evolve by changing its form and purpose. • Support dimension. The purpose here is not to model the surrounding environment but focus on the interactions between the CNO and this environment. or specific aspects such as rules of adhesion and specific “marketing” policies for members. The customers’ facet involves elements such as the transactions and established commitments (contracts). common to all CNOs independently of the application domain. for a wide variety of classes of CNOs their creation stage (as well as their dissolution or metamorphosis) is complex and takes up considerable effort. competitors. training. Examples include certification services. In order to better characterize these interactions. external institutions. 5). the following additional modeling dimensions—I1-Market. Therefore. Instead. • Constituency dimension.e. its dissolution is a very unusual situation. customers. influence. usually its operation stage constitutes its entire livelihood. The interactions between the CNO and these external entities are quite different. the same as the way each of these entity groups looks at the CNO. it requires receiving proper attention during the build up of the reference model.

540 Fig. -Processes -Auxiliary processes -Procedures -Methodologies CNO-Life-Cycle Stages L4. through identifying more elements) that more needs to be done for the purpose of proper Collaborative networked organizations (CNO) modeling. Figure 8 combines the addressed perspectives into a single diagram that summarizes the various perspectives considered in the proposed modeling framework. Creation * Exogenous Interactions I1. -Information/ knowledge res. Evolution L2. e. 2004). 1992). Evolution L2.e. 6 Crossing CNO life cycle and the endogenous elements perspective J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 e. Constituency Outside view Figures 6 and 7 combine the life-cycle perspective with the endogenous elements and exogenous interactions perspectives. e. Support I3. CIMOSA (Vernadat & Kosanke. CNO-Life-Cycle Stages L4. and certainly contributed to this work (Noran. -Certification -Insurance -Coaching -Training e. Brief comparison with other approaches In the investigation and definition of the proposed modeling framework for ARCON. 2003). -Impacts -Legal issues -Public interactions -Attracting factors -Rules of adhesion -Sustainability factors L3. Structural E2. Componential E3.g. Behavioral Inside view Fig. Zachman (Zachman. the paper does not argue about the relevance and appropriateness of previous well known models.g. Operation * ** * L1. Our conclusion of this study showed that although several related previous works have provided valuable contributions to the understanding of several aspects of this area.g. Tolle & Bernus. e. Metamorphosis / Dissolution -Customer -Mission -Transactions -Marketing / branding -Market strategy e.g. e. Conclusions The establishment of a comprehensive modeling framework for CNOs is a very important basis for the elaboration of a 123 * * * .g. 2003. Societal I4.g. we have tried to as much as possible reuse some already defined concepts that are more familiar to the users of reference models in this area. for the purpose of Enterprise modeling. etc. Functional E4. Table 7 summarizes our analysis results for some relevant initiatives in comparison with the needs identified for the ARCON reference modeling framework. several relevant previous approaches introduced by other initiatives were considered. instead of starting from scratch (re-invention of the wheel) to identify the main perspectives and required elements for CNO reference modeling. -Hardware/ software res. As an illustration. SCOR (Huan. -Ontology res. respectively.g. Metamorphosis / Dissolution -Participants -Relationships -Roles -Geo. Rather it argues and represents (i. e. Clearly. -Human res. 7 Crossing CNO life cycle and Exogenous Interactions perspective e. As such.Market I2. location time/culture -Prescriptive behavior -Obligatory behavior -Constraints & conditions -Contracts & agreements -Incentives L3. 1987). they are somewhat limited when a more holistic modeling is pursued. Operation ** * L1. Creation * Endogenous Elements E1.g.g.

J Intell Manuf (2007) 18:529–542 Fig. CIMOSA (Vernadat & Kosanke. . 2003) 123 .Little focus on Exogenous Interactions (some aspects in “Purpose”) -Can cover only process sub-dimension & performance indicators in endogenous elements. 1994). life cycle. GERAM (IFIP-IFAC TFAEI GERAM. Stewart.Confusing/complex generality EGA (2005) + Inclusion of glossary .Limited in terms of generality a VERAM includes elements from PERA (Williams.Little focus on behavior within the endogenous elements . 1992). 8 A modeling framework for CNOs 541 ol ss Di n io ut o Ev ion lut CNO-Life-Cycle Stages n tio era Op l de Mo on l ra ati ne ent Ge res p Re I nt nte g ific ec elin Sp od M n tio nta ing me del ple Mo Im ea Cr n tio Endogenous Elements Exogenous Interactions Table 7 Brief summary analysis of other modeling frameworks Approach Zachman Framework (1987) Modeling Framework + Good set of “dimensions” ∼ different emphasis (e.Not addressing Exogenous Interactions + Most modeling dimensions -Little focus on behavior within the endogenous elements -Little focus on Exogenous Interactions .Grid enterprise infrastructure ∼Manufacturing CNOs PVC and other CNOs) (no ∼ Only supply chain (no other CNOs) Modeling Target Single enterprise (not CNOs) Modeling Scope + Most modeling dimensions .Only process sub-dimension within the endogenous elements ∼ Multiple levels of abstraction -Very limited in terms of generality FEA (2005) + Inclusion of glossary + Customer orientation . 2004.Confusing rows (levels.Only part of the functional dimension within the endogenous elements . 2003) + Good set of dimensions and abstraction levels ∼ Limited life cycle . location)∼ not clear IN/ABOUT (mixed) . actors) SCOR (Huan. 1997) + Simple composition (client-supplier) and multi-abstraction level -Limited in terms of generality VERAMa (IFIP-IFAC TFAEI.Not addressing the Exogenous Interactions ∼ Governmental organizations + Some aspects Exogenous Interactions .g.

In Proceedings of business excellence 2003 – int. Therefore a comprehensive list of contributions from other disciplines is introduced and mapped into the necessary modeling dimensions for CNOs. is a long term endeavor that needs to start with a careful analysis of the current baseline and definition of related reference modeling frameworks. The authors thank the contributions of their partners in this project. & Afsarmanesh. P. (2005). Zachman. B-3. S.pdf. Noran. EGA. (2003). Schmidt (Eds. 40–48. Bernus.ac. IBM Systems Journal. (2003). Towards a foundation for virtual organizations. J. FEA Consolidated Reference Model. L..gov/omb/egov/documents/CRM. and virtual learning communities. 6. Stewart. Handbook on enterprise architecture. (2003). 29–32. ZACHMAN. & G. 123 . References Afsarmanesh. (North-Holland).. Guimarães.The Journal of Defense Software Engineering. International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations. In Proceedings of the IFIP TC5/WG5. C. 276–292. 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