This paper presents an introduction1 to a model of a collaborative working environment which supports distributed team argumentation, negotiation, consensus building and rationale capture. Based on a natural model of team deliberation, this model is the basis for the development of a system that enables team support and the capture of the design rationale in value added activities. The consensus model is the result of over fifteen years of studying and modeling design engineers by the authors and the integration of research results from the fields of negotiation and argumentation modeling, design rationale capture, decision theoretics, and engineering best practices.

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