An uncertainty management framework to support model-based definition and enterprise

Kamran Goher, Ahmed Al-Ashaab, Shoaib Sarfraz, Essam Shehab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In pursuit of industrial digitalisation, the manufacturing industry is going through a transformation in the methods for product definition from the traditional two-dimensional drawing to three-dimensional digital model known as the model-based definition (MBD). The real benefit of this digitalisation lies in the adoption of model-based definition across all stages of the product lifecycles throughout the enterprise and its supply chain which is termed as model-based enterprise (MBE). However, the current application of this technology is partial, due to the involvement of several associated uncertainties. This paper proposes a novel framework for the management of uncertainties in the adoption of the model-based definition and presents a system in support of the proposed framework. The development commenced with the collaboration of two major aerospace industries. The framework comprises five phases including the preliminary phase, identification, assessment, analysis, and response phase. A systematic process is followed in developing the framework while Numeral, Spread, Assessment, and Pedigree (NUSAP), and Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) are used in the assessment of uncertainties. The developed system consists of a user interface, a database of uncertainties, an assessment module, an analysis and prioritisation module, and a knowledge base of mitigation strategies for key uncertainties. The system facilitates the analyst to select the relevant uncertainties from a defined list, systematically assess and analyse each of the uncertainty and obtain recommendations for mitigation of the prioritised uncertainties in the project. The framework and the developed system were validated through expert interviews with two world-class aerospace companies. This system facilitates identifying the various types of uncertainties of MBD, quantifying their impact on the project rationally, and formulating a suitable management strategy for achieving the status of a model-based enterprise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103944
JournalComputers in Industry
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Digital manufacturing
  • Digital thread
  • Model-based definition (MBD)
  • Model-based enterprise (MBE)
  • Uncertainties
  • Uncertainty management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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