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Analogy Seeded Mind-Maps: Testing of a New Design-by-Analogy Tool

[+] Author Affiliations
K. Scott Marshall, Richard Crawford

The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Matthew Green

LeTourneau University, Longview, TX

Daniel Jensen

United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

Paper No. DETC2014-35323, pp. V007T07A042; 9 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


Recent research has investigated methods based on design-by-analogy meant to enhance concept generation. This paper presents Analogy Seeded Mind-Maps, a new method to prompt generation of analogous solution principles drawn from multiple analogical domains.

The method was evaluated in two separate design studies using senior engineering students. The method begins with identifying a primary functional design requirement such as “eject part.” We used this functional requirement “seed” to generate a WordTree of grammatically analogical words for each design team. We randomly selected a set of words from each WordTree list with varying lexical “distances” from the seed word, and used them to populate the first-level nodes of a mind-map, with the functional requirement seed as the central hub. Design team members first used the word list to individually generate solutions and then performed team concept generation using the analogically seeded mind-map. Quantity and uniqueness of the resulting verbal solution principles were evaluated. The solution principles were further analyzed to determine if the lexical “distance” from the seed word had an effect on the evaluated design metrics. The results of this study show Analogy Seeded Mind-Maps to be useful tool in generating analogous solutions for engineering design problems.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Design , Testing



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