Characterizing the Effects of Multiple Analogues and Extraneous Information in Design-by-Analogy

[+] Author and Article Information
Hyeon Ik Song

Georgia Institute of Technology

Ricardo Lopez

Texas A&M University

Katherine Fu

Georgia Institute of Technology

Julie Linsey

Georgia Institute of Technology

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038565 History: Received May 16, 2017; Revised November 15, 2017


This study examines how the quantity of ideas and analogue transfer in design-by-analogy (DbA) are affected by multiple analogues and extraneous information, or noise, using a between-subjects, factorial experiment. To evaluate the effects of multiple analogues and noise on ideation, the study uses two metrics in conjunction with one another; namely, number of ideas (most typical in engineering design) and recognition of high-level principle (more common in psychology). The quantity analysis included three components: number of ideas generated, number of ideas that use example products (analogues and noise stimuli), and number of ideas that use analogues. The results indicate two important findings: (1) providing multiple analogues during ideation had a positive impact on ideation quantity and analogue transfer. Specifically, the number of analogue-based ideas increased with increasing number of analogues but eventually reached a "saturation point"; (2) Introducing extraneous information (noise) diminished the successful mapping of analogues to design solutions. The presence of extraneous information did not significantly affect student designers' ability to identify high-level principles in analogues. The study demonstrated that some extraneous information was perceived as surface similar analogues. Any design analogue retrieval method or automated tool will produce extraneous information, and more work is needed to understand and minimize its impact.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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