This chapter presents a literature review of R&D area, particularly computer supported collaborative design (CSCD) technologies, systems, and applications. Research challenges and opportunities on CSCD are also discussed and highlighted. The chapter provides an overview of the related research fields, including computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), concurrent engineering, and human computer interaction (HCI), which triggered the emergence of CSCD. Three approaches, facilitators, brokers, and mediators, are widely used in collaborative design systems.
In addition to the federated approaches, there are some other agent-based collaborative engineering design and manufacturing systems that could be classified as federated architectures. Federated architectures are suitable for developing more complex collaborative design systems composed of a large number of problem solving agents, data/information agents, and service agents. CSCD technologies are applied to many other domains including aerospace, automotive, logistics, transportation, power and energy, healthcare, infrastructure, administration, social networks, entertainment, and most recently to emergence response.