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A natural-language approach to biomimetic design

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2010

L.H. Shu
Affiliation:
Biomimetics for Innovation and Design Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Abstract

This paper summarizes various aspects of identifying and applying biological analogies in engineering design using a natural-language approach. To avoid the immense as well as potentially biased task of creating a biological database specifically for engineering design, the chosen approach searches biological knowledge in natural-language format, such as books and papers, for instances of keywords describing the engineering problem. Strategies developed to facilitate this search are identified, and how text descriptions of biological phenomena are used in problem solving is summarized. Several application case studies are reported to illustrate the approach. The value of the natural-language approach is demonstrated by its ability to identify relevant biological analogies that are not limited to those entered into a database specifically for engineering design.

Type
Special Issue Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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