COLLABORATIVE NETWORKS Becoming a pervasive paradigm In recent years the area of collaborative networks is being consolidated as a new discipline (Camarinha-Matos, Afsarmanesh, 2005) that encompasses and gives more structured support to a large diversity of collaboration forms. In terms of applications, besides the "traditional" sectors represented by the advanced supply chains, virtual enterprises, virtual organizations, virtual teams, and their breading environments, new forms of collaborative structures are emerging in all sectors of the society. Examples can be found in e-government, intelligent transportation systems, collaborative virtual laboratories, agribusiness, elderly care, silver economy, etc. In some cases those developments tend to adopt a terminology that is specific of that domain; often the involved actors in a given domain are not fully aware of the developments in the mainstream research on collaborative networks. For instance, the grid community adopted the term "virtual organization" but focused mainly on the resource sharing perspective, ignoring most of the other aspects involved in collaboration. The European enterprise interoperability community, which was initially focused on the intra-enterprise aspects, is moving towards inter-enterprise collaboration. Collaborative networks are thus becoming a pervasive paradigm giving basis to new socio-organizational structures.
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.