Assessing Concept Novelty Potential with Lexical and Distributional Word Similarity for Innovative Design

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Nomaguchi, Yutaka; Kawahara, Takahiro; Shoda, Koki; Fujita, Kikuo
Series: ICED
Institution: Osaka University
Section: Design methods and tools
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Generating novel design concepts is a cornerstone for producing innovative products. Although many methods have been proposed for supporting the task, their performance depends on human ability. The goal of this research is to build a method supporting designers to generate novel design concepts with the knowledge of what factors have positive effects on the novelty. Toward the goal, this research assumes that the more distant two function concepts chosen, the more novel idea would come up with by the combination of the two concepts. Based on the assumption, this paper introduces a notion of novelty potential of the combination of two function concepts, and proposes a method to assess it by the function similarity. It is calculated with the integration of a lexical database for natural language called WordNet and a distributional semantics method called word2vec. The proposed method is adapted to case studies in which students perform design concept generation for given design tasks. The correlation analysis is performed to verify the assessment performance of the proposed method. This paper discusses its possibility based on the results of the case studies.

Keywords: Conceptual design, Creativity, Early design phases, Design methods, Word similarity


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