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Extending the structural alignment model to similarity judgements of design concepts

McTeague, Chris and Duffy, Alex and Hay, Laura and Vuletic, Tijana and Campbell, Gerard and Choo, Pei Ling and Grealy, Madeleine (2018) Extending the structural alignment model to similarity judgements of design concepts. In: Design Computing Cognition DCC18, 2018-07-02 - 2018-07-04, Politecnico di Milano, Lecco Campus.

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Similarity is an important facet of many aspects of human behavior. Similarity has also been identified as an important factor in combinatorial design creativity, specifically analogical reasoning (Chan et al. 2011) and combination of pairs of stimuli (Nagai et al. 2009). Analogical transfer occurs via a cognitive process of structural alignment (Gentner & Markman 1997) and the same is assumed to be true in a design context. Conceptual combination and similarity judgements, however, are both thought to operate via two independent processes of structural alignment and scenario creation (Wisniewski 1997). A number of authors have proposed metrics for similarity in design, however none appear to be supported by human perceptions of similarity. Investigation of the role of similarity in the combination of design concepts requires an understanding of the cognitive mechanisms by which designers perceive similarity. To wards such an understanding, an experiment is conducted to test the applicability of structural alignment as a model of design concept similarity judgement.