Extending the structural alignment model to similarity judgements of design concepts

Chris McTeague, Alex Duffy, Laura Hay, Tijana Vuletic, Gerard Campbell, Pei Ling Choo, Madeleine Grealy

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018
EventDesign Computing Cognition DCC18 - Politecnico di Milano, Lecco Campus, Lake Como, Italy
Duration: 2 Jul 20184 Jul 2018


ConferenceDesign Computing Cognition DCC18
CityLake Como
Internet address


  • similarity
  • similarity judgements
  • design concepts
  • similarity processing


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