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Towards a Computational Model of Biological Analogies in

Innovative Engineering Design
Goel, Ashok
Georgia Institute of Technology

This project pursues a computational model of creativity that has analogical reasoning as its basis, with a focus on biologically inspired design. The goals of this project are to (1) understand the nature and role of biological analogies in innovative engineering design, (2) develop computational models of the content, structure and processes of the cross-domain analogies in biologically-inspired engineering design, and (3) develop interactive environments for supporting engineers in making analogies to biological systems. The specific objectives of the proposed exploratory project are to (i) analyze biological analogies in engineering design in terms of current computational models of analogy, and (ii) develop a paper-and-pencil computational theory of cross-domain analogies in biologically-inspired engineering design.

The project analyzes observations of design teams engaged in biologically-inspired engineering design to build a paper-and-pencil computational theory of cross-domain analogies in innovative design, which should lead to interactive tools for supporting biological analogies in engineering design. The project lays the foundation for a new computational model of innovative design based on analogies to biological systems.

Biologically-inspired design has become an important and increasingly wide-spread movement in innovative design for environmentally-conscious sustainable development. The proposed study will help define our longer-term research program of developing a computational model of biologically-inspired innovation and an interactive environment for supporting biologically-inspired engineering design. This study will also provide insights into learning occurring in courses in biologically-inspired design, and suggest ways of enhancing quality of learning.

Last modified 16 August 2007 at 6:45 am by haleden