With the increased complexity of complex engineering systems (CES), more and more disciplines, coupled relationships, work processes, design data, design knowledge and uncertainties are involved. Currently, the MDO is facing unprecedented challenges especially in dealing with the CES by different specialists dispersed geographically on heterogeneous platforms with different analysis tools. The product design data integration and data sharing among the participants and the workflow optimization hamper the development and applications of MDO in enterprises seriously. Therefore, a multi-hierarchical integrated product design data model (MiPDM) supporting the MDO in web environment and a web services-based MDO framework considering aleatory and epistemic uncertainties are proposed in this paper. With the enabling technologies including web services, ontology, workflow, agent, XML, and evidence theory, the proposed framework enables the designers geographically dispersed to work collaboratively in the MDO environment. The ontology-based workflow enables the logical reasoning of MDO to be processed dynamically. Finally, a proof-of-concept prototype system is developed based on Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and an example of supersonic business jet is demonstrated to verify the web services-based MDO framework.
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