Cloud manufacturing (CM) is an emerging manufacturing model based on collaboration among manufacturing enterprises in a cloud computing environment. Naturally, collaboration is one of main factors that impacts performance in a variety of ways such as quality, lead time, and cost. Therefore, collaboration levels should be considered when solving operational issues in CM. However, there has been no attempt to estimate these levels between enterprises participating in CM. The collaboration level among enterprises in CM is defined as the ability to produce a manufacturing service that satisfies a customer by means of collaborative production amongst enterprises. We measure it as the conditional probability that collaborative performances are high given collaborative performance factors (e.g., resource sharing, information sharing, etc.). In this paper, we propose a framework for estimating collaboration levels. We adopt a probabilistic graphical model (PGM) to develop the framework, since the framework includes a lot of random variables and complex dependencies among them. The framework yields conditional probabilities that two enterprises will reduce the total cost, improve resource utilization or quality through collaboration between them given each enterprise’s features, collaboration possibility, and collaboration activities. The collaboration levels the proposed framework yields will help to handle diverse operational problems in CM.
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