Identifying relevant stimuli that help generate solutions of desired novelty and quality is challenging in analogical design. To quell this challenge, the multifaceted effects of using stimuli which are located at various analogical distances to the design problem on the novelty and quality of concepts generated using the stimuli are studied in this research. Data from a design project involving 105 student designers, individually generating 226 concepts of spherical rolling robots, are collected. From these data, 138 concepts generated with patents as stimuli and the patents used are analyzed. Analogical distance of a patent is measured in terms of knowledge similarity between technology classes constituting the patent and design problem domain of spherical rolling robots. The key observations are (a) technology classes in closer than farther distances from the design problem are used more frequently to generate concepts, (b) as analogical distance increases the novelty of concepts increases, and (c) as analogical distance decreases the quality of concepts increases.
Does Analogical Distance Affect Performance of Ideation?
Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received June 22, 2017; final manuscript received April 23, 2018; published online May 23, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Christopher Mattson.
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Srinivasan, V., Song, B., Luo, J., Subburaj, K., Elara, M. R., Blessing, L., and Wood, K. (May 23, 2018). "Does Analogical Distance Affect Performance of Ideation?." ASME. J. Mech. Des. July 2018; 140(7): 071101. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4040165
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