Proposal: Performing Invention with Analogies to "Far-Flung" Concepts

Reference: Wolverton, M. & Hayes-Roth, B. Proposal: Performing Invention with Analogies to "Far-Flung" Concepts. Knowledge Systems Laboratory, May, 1991.

Abstract: This project proposal addresses the issue of retrieving and using analogies to guide a creative design process. There is evidence that human designers use analogies to produce novel creative designs. These analogies are unique in that they often associate concepts that are not normally thought of as connected. That is, the concepts do not share many superficial or even structural features, while they still share underlying functional properties. The purpose of our project is to develop and implement a computational model of creative design which retrieves and uses these types of "distant" analogies. We have developed an architecture in which the search through a knowledge base for an analogy is guided by knowledge about design, knowledge about analogies, and feedback from "near-misses" encountered previously in the search. This architecture is being implemented in a design program which uses retrieved analogies to refine design specifications.

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