An ontology-guided approach to process formation and coordination of demand-driven collaborations

Nikolai Kazantsev, Michael DeBellis, Qudamah Quboa, Pedro Sampaio, Nikolay Mehandjiev, Iain Stalker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Demand shocks and fluctuations underscore the need for new approaches to coordinate collaboration between firms to scale up production. This paper proposes an approach to formalise product and process requirements via a collaboration ontology and applies semantic reasoning techniques for process formation. Our approach contributes to production research by providing flexibility in coordinating firms engaged in demand-driven collaboration. The proposed approach has four core dimensions: (1) The Collaboration ontology builds on a set of product assembly requirements, process steps, their input/output resources and semantic rules; (2) the ontology reasoner derives resource dependencies between the steps; (3) the java tool interprets resource dependencies as possible transitions in Business Process Management Notation (BPMN); (4) a workflow engine executes the generated product assembly process. The approach and the ontology were validated in an industrial aerospace tendering scenario demonstrating its practical relevance for firms seeking demand-driven collaborations to react to production changes. Finally, we position and explain our contributions to the body of knowledge in collaborative production engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2023


  • Collaboration process design
  • ontology
  • processcoordination & reasoning
  • production systems design
  • industry 4.0

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