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Using Human Computation to Assist Biologically Inspired Design: Evaluating a Game-With-a-Purpose

[+] Author Affiliations
Ryan Arlitt, Friederich Berthelsdorf, Sebastian Immel, Robert Stone

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Paper No. DETC2014-34796, pp. V007T07A015; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 2nd Biennial International Conference on Dynamics for Design; 26th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4640-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Locating relevant biological analogies is a challenge that lies at the heart of practicing biologically inspired design. One promising solution involves computationally providing relevant inspiration to the designer. This paper presents a novel human computation game for collecting computable descriptions of biological strategies, an assessment of the quality of these descriptions gathered from experimental data, and an evaluation of the game’s user experience. This human computation approach to collecting and organizing biological phenomena improves upon the breadth of curated database approaches without sacrificing the accuracy afforded by human reasoning skills. The Biology Phenomenon Categorizer (BioP-C); a cooperative, asymmetric, online game; was deployed in a small engineering graduate class in order to collect assertions about the biological phenomenon of cell division. Through the course of playing, the students formed assertions describing key concepts in the passage. These assertions are assessed for their factual correctness, and these correctness ratings are used to identify directly measurable indicators of assertion truth. Areas for improved game design are also identified.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Design , Computation



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