Inherent in biologically inspired design (BID) is the selection of one or more analogs from which one or more strategies are extracted and transferred into the engineering domain. The selection of an analog is a fundamental step in biomimetic process, but locating relevant biological analogies can be challenging. Often, designers may fixate on an analogy or choose an established analogy without rigorous examination of alternatives. This practice is problematic—as basing a new design on an invalid assumption can lead to suboptimal results. This paper makes contribution to evaluation of analogy utility. The contribution is made by combining stochastic multicriteria acceptability analysis (SMAA) with a set of criteria, derived from BID, to assist multidisciplinary decision makers (DMs) in evaluating candidate design analogs. The resulting framework, which we call the biotransferability framework, is being developed to assist multidisciplinary teams to choose, rank, or sort candidate design analogs by assessing biology-to-engineering transfer risk.

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