A METHODOLOGY FOR DISCOVERING STRUCTURE IN DESIGN DATABASES
DS 68-6: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 6: Design Information and Knowledge, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Chen, W.
Author: Fu, Katherine; Cagan, Jonathan; Kotovsky, Kenneth
Section: Design Information and Knowledge Management
Design by analogy, in which designers draw inspiration from cross-domain design solutions, is a promising methodology for product development. This work attempts to leverage the existing design solutions within a repository, combined with an exploration of inherent structural forms that can be discovered based on the content and similarity of that data, in order to gain useful insights into the nature of the design space. In this work, the approach will be applied to uncover structure in the U.S. patent database. Methodology for generating and analyzing these structures is presented here, in addition to insights from some initial results. These insights could generate fodder for stimulating design inspiration and innovation for engineering designers.