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A system for aiding creative concept formation

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1 Author(s)
Hori, K. ; Res. Center for Adv. Sci. & Technol., Tokyo Univ., Japan

This paper describes a system named AA1 (Articulation Aid 1) which aids human users in the formation of new concepts in the domain of engineering and science. From the viewpoint of concept formation, one main process of creation is divergent thinking in which broad alternatives are searched, and another process is convergent thinking in which a unique solution is sought. From the viewpoint of human activities, creation also includes the aspect of collaboration among people and the aspect of individual reflection, although they are interrelated. AA1, the system presented in this paper, supports divergent thinking during individual reflection. Engineers and scientists usually scrawl many notes on paper while exploring new possible concepts in the divergent thinking process. A system is needed to reflect the fragments of concepts that are not articulated yet and thereby stimulate the formation of new concepts. AA1 builds a two-dimensional space from the words the user provides. Looking at this space and other precedent spaces, the user can form new concepts little by little. The main feature of AA1 different, from existing hypermedia systems and CSCW systems is the strategy for building the space presented to the user. The system is as nonprescriptive as possible, but it gives stimulation for the user to form concepts that he could not by using only pencil and paper. Experimentation has shown that the space which AA1 displays can effectively help the user to build new concepts. The most prominent effect is that empty regions in the space automatically configured by the system often lead to new concepts

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 1994

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