Biology is a good source of analogies for engineering design. One approach of retrieving biological analogies is to perform keyword searches on natural-language sources such as books, journals, etc. A challenge of retrieving information from natural-language sources is the potential requirement to process a large number of search results. This paper describes a categorization method that organizes a large group of diverse biological information into meaningful categories. The benefits of the categorization functionality are demonstrated through a case study on the redesign of a fuel cell bipolar plate. In this case study, our categorization method reduced the effort to systematically identify biological phenomena by up to ∼80%.

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