Transferring design strategies from human to computer and across design problems

Ayush Raina, Jonathan Cagan, Christopher McComb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Solving any design problem involves planning and strategizing, where intermediate processes are identified and then sequenced. This is an abstract skill that designers learn over time and then use across similar problems. However, this transfer of strategies in design has not been effectively modeled or leveraged within computational agents. This note presents an approach to represent design strategies using a probabilistic model. The model provides a mechanism to generate new designs based on certain design strategies while solving configuration design task in a sequential manner. This work also demonstrates that this probabilistic representation can be used to transfer strategies from human designers to computational design agents in a way that is general and useful. This transfer-driven approach opens up the possibility of identifying high-performing behavior in human designers and using it to guide computational design agents. Finally, a quintessential behavior of transfer learning is illustrated by agents as transferring design strategies across different problems led to an improvement in agent performance. The work presented in this study leverages the Cognitively Inspired Simulated Annealing Teams (CISAT) framework, an agent-based model that has been shown to mimic human problem-solving in configuration design problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4044258
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


Dive into the research topics of 'Transferring design strategies from human to computer and across design problems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this