This research defines the basis for a new quantitative approach for retrieving useful analogies for innovation based on the relevant performance characteristics of functions. The concept of critical functionality is the idea of identifying only a certain set of pertinent design functions observed in a single domain that significantly define the functionality of the product. A critical function (CF) is a function within a functional model whose performance directly relates to a key performance parameter (KPP) of the system as a whole. These CFs will enable multiple analogies to be presented to a designer by recognizing similar functionality across distant design domains and incorporating key performance criteria. The ultimate focus of this research project is to create a performance-metric-based analogy library, called the design analogy performance parameter system (DAPPS). By focusing on a select set of “critical” functions, more design domains can be included in the database facilitating analogy retrieval founded on the qualification of KPPs.

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