Flat Versus Hierarchical Information Models in PLM Standardization Frameworks

  • Sylvere Krima
  • Joshua Lubell
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 492)


Smart manufacturing requires digital product data to be shared and exchanged among numerous engineering applications and information systems. But no single product data standard can satisfy every integration scenario. Customizable standardization frameworks for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) attempt to address this problem by allowing users to add new information structures to an existing data model in a controlled manner. A PLM information model may be either flat or hierarchical. We discuss two approaches. One is based on ISO 10303-239 as an exemplar for customizing flat models. The other is based on Open Application Group Integration Specification (OAGIS) as an exemplar for customizing hierarchical models. We evaluate the two approaches and observe that the type of model strongly influences how well the PLM standardization framework meets each evaluation criterion, and that the best choice is use-case dependent.


Open Application Group Integration Specification Product Life Cycle Support Reference Data Library Core Components Information modeling 



We wish to thank Jay Ganguli, Peter Denno, Albert Jones, and KC Morris for their insightful feedback on earlier drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing (outside the US) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA

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