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Representing Analogies: Increasing the Probability of Innovation

[+] Author Affiliations
J. S. Linsey, J. T. Murphy, A. B. Markman, K. L. Wood, T. Kurtoglu

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Paper No. DETC2006-99383, pp. 265-282; 18 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4a: 18th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 10–13, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4258-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3784-X
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Design-by-analogy is well-recognized for its power in innovation processes. This paper presents experimental results showing the representation of a product in a person’s memory influences the person’s ability to later use the product for a design analogy. Representation has the potential to facilitate the design-by-analogy process both in human reasoning and for automated tools. We show specific experimental results and insights for three analogy problems: an air mattress analogy to a water-filled travel weights product, a football analogy to a bullet raft product and a whisk analogy to a flour sifter product.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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