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Research Papers: Design Theory and Methodology

Does Analogical Distance Affect Performance of Ideation?

[+] Author and Article Information
V. Srinivasan

Department of Design,
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D),
Hauz Khas,
New Delhi 110 016, India
e-mail: srinivasanv@iddc.iitd.ac.in

Binyang Song

Engineering Product Development Pillar,
Singapore University of Technology
and Design (SUTD),
8 Somapah Road,
Singapore 487372
e-mail: binyang_song@mymail.sutd.edu.sg

Jianxi Luo

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre and
Engineering Product Development Pillar,
Singapore University of Technology
and Design (SUTD),
8 Somapah Road,
Singapore 487372
e-mail: jianxi_luo@sutd.edu.sg

Karupppasamy Subburaj

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre and
Engineering Product Development Pillar,
Singapore University of Technology
and Design (SUTD),
8 Somapah Road,
Singapore 487372
e-mail: subburaj@sutd.edu.sg

Mohan Rajesh Elara

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre and
Engineering Product Development Pillar,
Singapore University of Technology
and Design (SUTD),
8 Somapah Road,
Singapore 487372
e-mail: rajeshelara@sutd.edu.sg

Lucienne Blessing

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre and
Engineering Product Development Pillar
Singapore University of Technology
and Design (SUTD),
8 Somapah Road,
Singapore 487372
e-mail: lucienne_blessing@sutd.edu.sg

Kristin Wood

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre and
Engineering Product Development Pillar
Singapore University of Technology
and Design (SUTD),
8 Somapah Road,
Singapore 487372
e-mail: kristinwood@sutd.edu.sg

1Corresponding author.

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.

J. Mech. Des 140(7), 071101 (May 23, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: MD-17-1424; doi: 10.1115/1.4040165 History: Received June 22, 2017; Revised April 23, 2018

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.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Design , Patents
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Overall design approach

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Fig. 2

Technology map showing various technology fields and domains of design problem

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Fig. 3

Use of stimuli and transformation of stimuli into features in a concept

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Fig. 4

Some examples of concepts generated by students

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Fig. 5

Frequency of patents used to generate concepts of various grades of novelty and quality

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Fig. 6

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of all grades of novelty and quality in 121 technology classes (1/2)

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Fig. 7

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of all grades of novelty and quality in 121 technology classes (2/2)

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Fig. 8

Average stimulation proximity over novelty for various grades of quality (vertical lines show one SE)

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Fig. 9

Average stimulation proximity over quality for various grades of novelty (vertical lines show one SE)

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Fig. 10

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of low quality and no novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 11

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of low quality and low novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 12

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of low quality and medium novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 13

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of low quality and high novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 14

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of medium quality and no novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 15

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of medium quality and low novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 16

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of medium quality and medium novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 17

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of medium quality and high novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 18

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of high quality and no novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 19

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of high quality and low novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 20

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of high quality and medium novelty in 121 technology classes

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Fig. 21

Distribution of patents used to generate concepts of high quality and high novelty in 121 technology classes

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