[Elenco soci]

Becattini Niccolò

Professore Associato

Politecnico di Milano

Sito istituzionale
SCOPUS ID: 37022899200
Orcid: 0000-0002-1641-3796

Pubblicazioni scientifiche

[1] Raafat O., Becattini N., Testing the Usability of Guidelines for the Design of Surprising Products, Proceedings of the Design Society, 2, 931-940, (2022). Abstract

Abstract: The paper introduces guidelines to support designers to generate ideas for the development of surprising products. The guidelines are structured coherently with the concept of sensory incongruity and the Function-Behaviour-Structure framework to create a mismatch between previously conceived expectations and product features. The usability of the interactive presentation is checked with an experiment that involved more than 30 subjects with a background in product design (mechanical engineers and industrial designers), which demonstrated to be capable of generating ideas using the same.

Keywords: expectations | idea generation | product design | surprise | user-centred design

[2] Lukacevic F., Li S., Becattini N., Škec S., Comparing EEG Brain Power of Mechanical Engineers in 3D CAD Modelling from 2D and 3D Representations, Proceedings of the Design Society, 2, 901-910, (2022). Abstract

Abstract: Using the EEG features extracted from the EEG signals, the presented study investigates differences in the cognitive load posed on engineers while 3D CAD modelling in two different conditions, depending on the visual representations used as stimulus - a 2D and a 3D technical drawing of parts. The results indicate a higher cognitive load during the 2D drawing task. In addition, common indicators of the ongoing spatial information processing were recognised - a suppression of parietal and occipital alpha power, a higher frontal theta, and differences in theta power between the hemispheres.

Keywords: brain activity | computer-aided design (CAD) | design cognition | electroencephalography | visualisation

[3] Singh H., Horvat N., Škec S., Becattini N., A Longitudinal Study of Teamwork Quality in Design Teams, Proceedings of the Design Society, 2, 2383-2392, (2022). Abstract

Abstract: Teamwork quality (TWQ) is often associated with project success. Therefore, understanding TWQ is crucial to have better design project outcomes. Since most of the studies in the past have presented a cross-sectional analysis of TWQ, the current work focuses on capturing TWQ in a longitudinal way for a project-based learning (PBL) course. The results showed that the 6 facets differed significantly during the first half of the course than towards the end. In later phases of the PBL, TWQ and team performance were positively correlated than at the beginning.

Keywords: collaborative design | design education | design teams | product development | teamwork

[4] Cascini G., Nagai Y., Georgiev G.V., Zelaya J., Becattini N., Boujut J.F., Casakin H., Crilly N., Dekoninck E., Gero J., Goel A., Goldschmidt G., Gonçalves M., Grace K., Hay L., Le Masson P., Maher M.L., Marjanović D., Motte D., Papalambros P., Sosa R., Srinivasan V., Štorga M., Tversky B., Yannou B., Wodehouse A., Perspectives on design creativity and innovation research: 10 years later, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 10(1), 1-30, (2022).
[5] Becattini N., Alberio L., Semi-automatic Analysis of Spoken Interaction Dynamics in Collaborative Design Sessions, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 183-195, (2022). Abstract

Abstract: The paper proposes an original approach for design protocol analysis that reduces the time and the effort required to extract relevant insights about the interaction dynamics in co-design sessions. Audio recordings are processed with a newly tailored algorithm that recognizes speakers during collaborative design and extracts indexes that describe the behavior of the designers, such as their degree of involvement in the session, their role (e.g. leadership), the length of their verbal interventions as well as the frequency with which they take the floor. The robustness of the approach is estimated by means of the application of the algorithm to three co-design sessions that are different from each other in terms of number and profile of the participants, language spoken and design task. The algorithm proved to be effective: the results of the analysis of spoken interactions from audio recordings are comparable to those obtained with quantitative techniques (precision up to 80% and faster processing time up to 100x).

Keywords: Co-design | Human behavior in design | Speech | Team dynamics | Verbal interactions

[6] Horvat N., Becattini N., Martinec T., Škec S., Identifying indicators for the use of virtual prototypes in distributed design activities, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 19(2), 320-335, (2022). Abstract

Abstract: This paper presents an approach to identify and validate indicators for the use of virtual prototypes (VPs) during distributed design activities. Identification of indicators is based on various data collection methods (interview, observational methods, literature review), whereas their validation and usage are based on the protocol analysis method. Using the approach, four indicators are proposed for a design review activity context. These indicators describe both the individual and collaborative use of the VP. To further delineate collaborative use, indicators distinguish personal and shared viewpoints, providing insights into synchronous collaboration. The implementation of the proposed approach and the four identified indicators were demonstrated on a design review session. The preliminary results show that, in a distributed design review activity, team members spend a small fraction of the time viewing the VP. On a team level, about half of that time was spent viewing the VP individually, while another half of time was spent working simultaneously (either synchronously or asynchronously) in pairs, triplets or four-members. However, this distribution varies among team members. Furthermore, team members utilised both personal and shared viewpoints, again varying among team members. Finally, instances of using the VP were usually brief but occurred throughout the whole session. Based on the conducted study, it can be argued that the design review involves continuous use of the VP throughout the session, either individually or with others (sharing the view or not). The proposed approach, indicators and preliminary results provide new insights for practitioners who develop tools for VP use, design teams that want to improve their efficiency in using VPs, and scholars that study the collaboration within distributed design activities.

Keywords: Collaboration indicators | Collaborative CAD | Distributed design activities | Distributed team | Virtual prototype (VP)

[7] Rotini F., Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Fiorineschi L., Editorial for the Special Issue “Requirements in Design Processes: Open Issues, Relevance and Implications”, Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 12(19), (2022). Abstract

Abstract: Editorial for the Special Issue “Requirements in Design Processes: Open Issues, Relevance and Implications”

[8] Schramek M., Becattini N., Škec S., Vukašinović N., Grafinger M., Rosenberger P., FRAMEWORK FOR CRISIS-RESISTANT ENGINEERING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT COURSES, Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Disrupt, Innovate, Regenerate and Transform, E and PDE 2022, (2022). Abstract

Abstract: This paper proposes a framework for the systematic adaptation and digitalisation of engineering product development courses in the event of a crisis. Applicants can use resources of the framework to identify crisis-related boundary conditions that impact the delivery of education and are assisted in determining the necessary level of course digitalisation to respond to the crisis. Furthermore, the framework comprehends a review of modern educational teaching objectives, as well as a table containing tools and methodologies linked to educational targets. These can be used to enhance course design to keep students independently of their learning profiles engaged in study activities and to uphold an excellent knowledge acquisition in a volatile environment. An exemplary application of the framework on a CAD course in a higher education context guides the educator through the processes.

Keywords: crisis education | crisis scenarios | digitalisation | Engineering education | post COVID-19 transition

[9] Altavilla S., Becattini N., Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Effectiveness of different requirements checklists for novice designers, Journal of Integrated Design and Process Science, 26(1), 45-69, (2022). Abstract

Abstract: Working under constrained conditions can boost or kill creativity, depending on the nature of the constraints (organizational, personal or task-related). However, a design process without clearly identified constraints, which set the project objectives, could lead to inefficiencies and unfruitful iterations. Some of the most acknowledged procedures to support requirement definition are focused on the use of specific checklists. However, notwithstanding the importance of the task, little attention was dedicated to the verification of the effectiveness of these tools. In such a context, the paper presents an investigation aimed at assessing the performance of three checklists that exploit different strategies to elicit requirements. To that purpose, a sample of fifty engineering students was asked to use the checklists to define the requirements for a specific design case. The outcomes of the experiment were assessed according to well-acknowledged effectiveness metrics, i.e. quantity, operationality, validity, non-redundancy, and completeness. The result of the assessment highlights that checklists based on more general questions or abstract stimuli can better support novice designers in making explicit internally felt design constraints that can potentially lead to more innovative design.

Keywords: Conceptual design | design tools | product development | requirements elicitation

[10] Singh H., Becattini N., Cascini G., Škec S., How familiarity impacts influence in collaborative teams?, Proceedings of the Design Society, 1, 1735-1744, (2021). Abstract

Abstract: Individual traits strongly impact team composition and the biases arising from them can also impact design activities. One such bias highlighted in the study is the familiarity bias (i.e., a bias that might be present between the two individuals due to their prior acquaintance). In order to detect the familiarity bias, participants from 4 universities who evaluated their peers and rated them for (1) their perceived degree of influence, (2) trust, (3) the amount of agreement they had with the other team member and (4) the amount of agreement the other individual in the team had with them. It was found that familiarity bias exists in collaborative teams. Its impact on the four variables, especially on influence, was discovered. In the end, the study briefly highlighted the importance of studying the factors (like the one revealed in this study) that affect influence in design teams as it eventually impacts design outcome. It was found that the individuals who explore most idea clusters, are less likely to be perceived influential and teams having the most influence produced a smaller number of idea clusters. Overall, the study contributes to understanding the factors affecting human cognition and behaviour in the design teams.

Keywords: Collaborative design | Design cognition | Design education | Teamwork

[11] Li S., Becattini N., Cascini G., Correlating design performance to EEG activation: Early evidence from experimental data, Proceedings of the Design Society, 1, 771-780, (2021). Abstract

Abstract: This paper presents an EEG (Electroencephalography) study that explores correlations between the neurophysiological activations, the nature of the design task and its outputs. We propose an experimental protocol that covers several design-related tasks: including fundamental activities (e.g. idea generation and problem-solving) as well as more comprehensive task requiring the complex higher-level reasoning of designing. We clustered the collected data according to the characteristics of the design outcome and measured EEG alpha band activation during elementary and higher-level design task, whereas just the former yielded statistically significant different behaviour in the left frontal and occipital area. We also found a significant correlation between the ratings for elementary sketching task outcomes and EEG activation at the higher-level design task. These results suggested that EEG activation enables distinguishing groups according to their performance only for elementary tasks. However, this also suggests a potential application of EEG data on the elementary tasks to distinguish the designers’ brain response during higher-level of design task.

Keywords: Creativity | Design cognition | Electroencephalography | Human behaviour in design | Neurocognition

[12] Horvat N., Becattini N., Škec S., Use of information and communication technology tools in distributed product design student teams, Proceedings of the Design Society, 1, 3329-3338, (2021). Abstract

Abstract: This paper analyses the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in a distributed product design project-based learning (PBL). The paper presents the ICT use of five international student teams during three product design phases: identification of opportunities, conceptual design, embodiment design. General results show that student teams used around 30 different ICTs for both taskwork and teamwork. Students reported that they used previously known ICTs or ICTs properly introduced to them during the initial course workshop. Results also show that team members often work individually on their tasks and use various procedures to share their results. Also, teams conduct some activities synchronously, suggesting the need for teams to have a collaborative workspace. Cloud-based collaborative ICTs (e.g. whiteboard, computer-aided design, document editor, task management) showed huge potential for individual and team tasks. Hence, educators and teams should carefully consider which ICTs to implement and learn, as it might greatly impact the execution of the product design PBL course.

Keywords: Collaborative design | Design education | Distributed teams | Project-based learning | Technology

[13] Montecchi T., Becattini N., A modelling framework for data-driven design for sustainable behaviour in human-machine interactions, Proceedings of the Design Society, 1, 151-160, (2021). Abstract

Abstract: As the society is already permeated by data, a data-driven approach to inform design for sustainable behaviour can help to identify misbehaviours and target sustainable behaviours to achieve, as well as to select and implement the most suitable design strategies to promote a behavioural change and monitor their effectiveness. This work addresses the open challenge of providing designers with a model for Human-Machine Interactions (HMI) that helps to identify relevant data to collect for inferring user behaviour related to environmental sustainability during product use. We propose a systematic modelling framework that combines constructs from existing representation techniques to identify the most critical variables for resources consumption, which are the determinants of potential misbehaviours related to HMI. The analysis is represented as a Behaviour-Inefficiency Model that graphically supports the analyst/designer to link user behaviours with a quantitative representation of resources consumption. The paper describes the model through an example of the use of a kettle and an additional application of the same approach to a washing machine, in order to point out its versatility for modelling more complex interactions.

Keywords: Behaviour Change | Big data | Process modelling | Product modelling / models | Sustainability

[14] Singh H., Nolte H., Becattini N., Pedagogical Approaches and Course Modality Affecting Students’ Self-efficacy and Problem-Solving Attitudes in a TRIZ-Oriented Course, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 635 IFIP, 367-378, (2021). Abstract

Abstract: Teaching TRIZ to students who are unfamiliar with it is vital as it assists in spreading a systematic approach to problem-solving in the design and production domain. Typically, the capability to use TRIZ proficiently is measured as a tangible output in the form of exams and project-based activities. However, understanding the impact of using TRIZ on students’ self-efficacy and problem-solving attitudes is a good proxy indicating how likely students will perseverate using this approach to solve problems despite their initial failures and motivations to get creative solutions. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to understand the effect of TRIZ-oriented courses on students’ self-efficacy and problem-solving attitudes towards design activities with respect to the change in the pedagogical approach (traditional and project-based learning) and course modality (in-person and remote). Data was collected at the beginning and end of the course for three different academic years. In general, the results show that project-based learning produces higher self-efficacy in students during a TRIZ course. However, traditional learning improves self-efficacy more than project-based learning. Additionally, in traditional learning, the students’ perception of their problem-solving attitudes at the end of the TRIZ course was higher. Regarding course modality, the remote modality of the TRIZ course produced greater increases in students’ engineering design self-efficacy than the in-person mode. TRIZ educators can benefit from these results and better estimate the opportunities and limitations due to the implementation of innovative pedagogical approaches in TRIZ courses.

Keywords: In-person collaboration | Pedagogical approaches | Problem-solving attitude | Project-based learning | Remote collaboration | Self-efficacy | TRIZ teaching

[15] Cascini G., O'Hare J., Dekoninck E., Becattini N., Boujut J.F., Ben Guefrache F., Carli I., Caruso G., Giunta L., Morosi F., Exploring the use of AR technology for co-creative product and packaging design, Computers in Industry, 123, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: Extended Reality technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), are being applied in a wide variety of industrial applications, but their use within design practice remains very limited, despite some promising research activities in this area over the last 20 years. At the same time, design practice has been evolving to place greater emphasis on the role of the client or end-user in the design process through ‘co-creative design’ activities. Whilst offering many benefits, co-creative design activities also present challenges, notably in the communication between designers and non-designers, which can hinder innovation. In this paper, we investigate the potential of a novel, projection-based AR system for the creation of design representations to support co-creative design sessions. The technology is tested through benchmarking experiments and in-situ trials conducted with two industrial partners. Performance metrics and qualitative feedback are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the new technology in supporting co-creative design sessions. Overall, AR technology allows quick, real-time modifications to the surfaces of a physical prototype to try out new ideas. Consequently, designers perceive the possibility to enhance the collaboration with the end-users participating in the session. Moreover, the quality and novelty of ideas generated whilst using projection-based AR outperform conventional sessions or handheld display AR sessions. Whilst the results of these early trials are not conclusive, the results suggest that projection-based AR design representations provide a promising approach to supporting co-creative design sessions.

Keywords: Co-creation | Co-design | Design representation | Prototype | Spatial augmented reality

[16] Masclet C., Poulin M., Boujut J.F., Becattini N., Real-time coding method and tool for artefact-centric interaction analysis in co-design situations assisted by augmented reality, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 14(4), 1141-1157, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: This paper presents and discusses a fast and efficient method to study artefact-centric interactions in co-design sessions. The method is particularly useful for exploring the introduction of augmented reality (AR) environments since AR application representations combine both digital content and physical content, transforming the way users interact with the design object. Although protocol analysis is extensively used in cognitive studies of design, it is a time-consuming and cumbersome method and hence unsuitable for extensive analysis in industrial environments. Our real-time coding method makes it possible to perform “on-the-fly” coding of physical interactions in co-design sessions. Focusing on quantifying interaction occurrences, our results are consistent with those obtained with post-session coding. Internal validity was assessed using relevant statistical tests. Based on the data collected in co-design sessions we show how aggregate results, especially timelines and interaction densities, can be displayed rapidly at the end of each session. This research paves the way for a more general implementation of real-time coding of collaborative work sessions in industrial situations.

Keywords: Artefact-centric interaction | Augmented reality | Co-design | Collaborative design | Gesture analysis | Mixed artefact | Real-time coding

[17] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Investigating users’ reactions to surprising products, Design Studies, 69, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: The study of surprising product features is crucial for designing products that potentially trigger attention and curiosity. Through a tailored questionnaire, this study gathered reactions from 100 respondents to solutions which were considered to be surprising. The data about surprise emergence and its modalities were processed using a situated FBS-based cognitive framework, shifted to the perspective of the user/observer. Data analysis shows that FBS variables and the related cognitive processes are suitable for describing similarities and differences in the reasoning path of users when surprise emerges. This confirms that individually pre-conceived expectations are crucial to surprise emergence and that these expectations relate to functional, behavioural or structural variables with similar mechanisms that depend on thinking processes triggered by product features.

Keywords: creativity | design cognition | design research | evaluation | user behaviour

[18] Fiorineschi L., Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Testing a new structured tool for supporting requirements' formulation and decomposition, Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 10(9), (2020). Abstract

Abstract: The definition of a comprehensive initial set of engineering requirements is crucial to an effective and successful design process. To support engineering designers in this non-trivial task, well-acknowledged requirement checklists are available in literature, but their actual support is arguable. Indeed, engineering design tasks involve multifunctional systems, characterized by a complex map of requirements affecting different functions. Aiming at improving the support provided by common checklists, this paper proposes a structured tool capable of allocating different requirements to specific functions, and to discern between design wishes and demands. A first experiment of the tool enabled the extraction of useful information for future developments targeting the enhancement of the tool's efficacy. Indeed, although some advantages have been observed in terms of the number of proposed requirements, the presence of multiple functions led users (engineering students in this work) to useless repetitions of the same requirement. In addition, the use of the proposed tool resulted in increased perceived effort, which has been measured through the NASA Task Load Index method. These limitations constitute the starting point for planning future research and the mentioned enhancements, beyond representing a warning for scholars involved in systematizing the extraction and management of design requirements. Moreover, thanks to the robustness of the scientific approach used in this work, similar experiments can be repeated to obtain data with a more general validity, especially from industry.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Design specification | Engineering design | Product planning | Requirements

[19] O’Hare J., Dekoninck E., Mombeshora M., Martens P., Becattini N., Boujut J.F., Defining requirements for an Augmented Reality system to overcome the challenges of creating and using design representations in co-design sessions, CoDesign, 16(2), 111-134, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: Within co-design sessions involving designers and non-designers, the type and characteristics of the design representations employed is known to impact the performance of such sessions in terms of idea generation, idea evaluation and communication. This study captures the challenges practitioners face in creating and using design representations for co-design sessions and goes on to investigate the potential of Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) to overcome those challenges. The advantages of SAR in this application are that, multiple concepts can be represented using one physical model, concepts can be modified live during the session, and additional equipment (such as head mounted displays or handheld devices) is not required, thus eliminating any possible interference with the natural interactions between participants. Interviews with design practitioners and trials with a prototype SAR system are used to identify the key challenges faced by practitioners in their current use of design representations, and to capture the technology requirements for a SAR system for use in co-design sessions. These findings can inform the work of technology developers and researchers working on systems to support co-design sessions.

Keywords: co-creation | Co-design | design representation | prototype | requirements | Spatial Augmented Reality

[20] Jia L., Becattini N., Cascini G., Tan R., Testing ideation performance on a large set of designers: effects of analogical distance, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 8(1), 31-45, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: This paper reports an experiment that aims at providing new evidence to reinforce contradictory conclusions, as available in engineering design literature, on the effect of analogical distance on ideation performance of designers. The experiment involved 84 graduate students in Mechanical Engineering, with typical competencies on engineering design, but without any specific skill on analogy-based idea generation. The subjects were exposed to three different treatments (near-, medium-, far-field analogies) whose design performance has been compared to a control group. The observation confirms that designers not specifically trained in designing-by-analogy get benefit from sources of inspiration that share the same (sub-)functions and context of the target system, as their idea generation process lead to ideas having higher novelty and quality compared to the outcomes of subjects exposed to more distant analogies. The observed results also show that the exploration of the design space gets positively affected.

Keywords: Analogical reasoning | creative process | creativity evaluation | idea generation | inspiration

[21] Becattini N., Georgiev G.V., Barhoush Y., Cascini G., EXPLORING the APPLICABILITY of SEMANTIC METRICS for the ANALYSIS of DESIGN PROTOCOL DATA in COLLABORATIVE DESIGN SESSIONS, Proceedings of the Design Society: DESIGN Conference, 1, 1205-1214, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: The paper presents the application of non-specialized lexical database and semantic metrics on transcripts of co-design protocols. Three different and previously analyzed design protocols of co-creative sessions in the field of packaging design, carried out with different supporting tools, are used as test-bench to highlight the potential of this approach. The results show that metrics about the Information Content and the Similarity maps with sufficient precision the differences between ICT- and non-ICT-supported sessions so that it is possible to envision future refinement of the approach.

Keywords: big data analysis | collaborative design | human behaviour | research methodologies and methods | text mining

[22] Montecchi T., Becattini N., DESIGN for SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOR: OPPORTUNITIES and CHALLENGES of A DATA-DRIVEN APPROACH, Proceedings of the Design Society: DESIGN Conference, 1, 2089-2098, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: The article stems from the main informative gaps of Design for Sustainable Behaviour and discusses the paramount role of a data-driven approach to inform design. The article stresses how quantitative data can address global sustainability, determine behaviours to modify, measure the impact of new learned sustainable behaviours as well as support the definition of behaviour change strategies, widening the spatial and temporal scales to communities and longitudinal studies and reducing unpredictable biases coming from tacit knowledge externalization and interpretation.

Keywords: data mining | human behaviour | sustainable design | user-centred design

[23] Singh H., Becattini N., Cascini G., DO ALL CREATIVE STIMULI WORK the SAME? INSIGHTS from A WORKSHOP with PROFESSIONALS, Proceedings of the Design Society: DESIGN Conference, 1, 1531-1540, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: The paper presents a comparative study that explores the effectiveness of creative stimuli to foster the generation of creative ideas in non-trained professionals during a co-creative design session. Solution-related stimuli (e.g. patents or biological strategies) are confronted with problem-based stimuli (e.g. TRIZ contradictions or Ideal Final Result), which are less studied in the literature. The 40 participants to the experimental activity benefited from both kind of stimuli, but the solution-related ones allowed a more comprehensive exploration of the design space.

Keywords: collaborative design | creative stimuli | design creativity | idea generation | open innovation

[24] Becattini N., Škec S., Pavković N., Cascini G., E-LEARNING INFRASTRUCTURE PROTOTYPE for GEOGRAPHICALLY DISTRIBUTED PROJECT-BASED LEARNING, Proceedings of the Design Society: DESIGN Conference, 1, 1667-1676, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: The paper presents the original integration of ICT tools and e-learning platform into an infrastructure to support Project-based learning for a design class that is geographically distributed across different countries. 30 Mechanical Engineering students from 4 European countries tested the infrastructure prototype for the development of an innovative solution in the field of white goods. The results produced evidence about the suitability of the proposal together with strong and weak points of the infrastructure, that can support further development and adaptation into different contexts.

Keywords: collaborative design | design education | distributed design | e-learning | project-based learning

[25] Becattini N., Montecchi T., Nikulin C., Cascini G., Self-Assessment of creative performance with a learning-by-doing approach: Getting familiar with novelty, quality, quantity and variety, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Design Creativity, ICDC 2020, 336-343, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: The paper discusses the outcomes of tailored ideation workshops (duration: 3 hours) for students of Design Engineering, not trained in design creativity dimensions and their assessment. 65 participants generated ideas to address a design problem, first individually and then in groups of 4/5 people. They were asked to cluster their ideas intuitively and then according to the structure of the genealogy tree. The reflections on the ideation experience (structured consistently with the Kolb cycle) helped them to easily consolidate their understanding of typical metrics of creativity (Novelty, Quality, Quantity and Variety). A survey questions them after four months from the workshop and the results show that the metrics are still clear, despite some controversial results appear for quantity. The investigation also shows that novelty has become the main driver to self-Assess the effectiveness of their creative ideation performance.

Keywords: Creativity Measurement | Experiential Learning | Genealogy tree | Ideation | Innovation

[26] Becattini N., Cascini G., O’Hare J., Boujut J.F., Improving the Efficiency of Design Protocol Analysis: An Approach to Speed Up the Coding Stage, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 612-624, (2020). Abstract

Abstract: This paper aims at checking the capabilities of tools to support coding activities for protocol design analysis to improve the efficiency of the process. The application of existing coding schemes to different protocols from real collaborative design sessions allows showing that the approach and the proposed tools can be flexibly adopted for various type of design tasks (product interface design and packaging design). The experiments to check the effectiveness of the proposed tools involved non-expert coders to create challenging experimental conditions and explore. This also allows exploring the viability of approaching the coding stage by non-expert coders in design protocol analysis, with a double goal: the positive results obtained show that is possible to release experts from time-demanding and HR consuming activities and, at the same time, obtain multiple parallel coded protocols for more reliable analysis. The outcomes are also discussed in terms of the implications on the development of similar supporting tools.

Keywords: Cognition | Creativity | Packaging design | Product interface design

[27] Saliminamin S., Becattini N., Cascini G., Correction to: Sources of creativity stimulation for designing the next generation of technical systems: correlations with R&D designers’ performance (Research in Engineering Design, (2019), 30, 1, (133-153), 10.1007/s00163-018-0299-2), Research in Engineering Design, 30(1), 155, (2019). Abstract

Abstract: Author would like to make corrections in the original publication. Author would like to add a reference to the part 4.3.1 (page 11, in the middle of line 12). The stimuli based on the technical trends of evolution were five stimuli that three of them were ready as TRIZ material course (Souchkov 2017) and two others were prepared by authors.

[28] Saliminamin S., Becattini N., Cascini G., Sources of creativity stimulation for designing the next generation of technical systems: correlations with R&D designers’ performance, Research in Engineering Design, 30(1), 133-153, (2019). Abstract

Abstract: This paper presents the outcomes of an exploratory research to clarify the performance of R&D designers when involved in design task for the ideation of the next generation of a technical system. The research aims also at clarifying if creative stimuli play a role in supporting ideation after idea generativity decreases because of natural exhaustion or the emergence of fixation. The effect of precedents (singular as patents, and structural as technology evolution trends), as well as design strategies (in the form of a design procedure for inventive problem solving) on idea generation, is compared by means of an experiment involving 24 R&D Iranian engineers. Precedents demonstrated to be more effective than design strategies in supporting productivity in idea generation, while generally they are not effective enough to support the generation of candidate ideas for the next generation of a technical system with a robust repeatability. The main recorded lacks depend on the capabilities of creative stimuli to support the generation of novel ideas, as they are generally effective in providing good results with reference to technical plausibility and relevance for a target audience. The results of the experiment are also discussed with reference to the efficiency of the design process (number of generated ideas per time unit). The outcomes of such studies, as part of a broader research objective, serve as input to support the development of a serious game to support R&D engineers to face design tasks for the next generation of technical systems with higher motivation and engagement, providing them with an improved design experience.

Keywords: Creative stimuli | Design models | Design precedent | Design strategies | Novelty | Radical innovation | Technological shifts

[29] Becattini N., Cascini G., Impact of inventive design education through the correlation between students' grades and individual talent, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 2019-August, 529-538, (2019). Abstract

Abstract: This paper aims at assessing the impact of inventive design education on students attending a class on Methods and Tools for Systematic Innovation. The study stems from the difficulty to understand how much personal inventive talent influences the final evaluation, especially in a context where students are asked to solve open problems, as conceptual design ones. To overcome the potential bias due to the individual talent, the authors propose to determine the impact of their teaching activity by means of an ex-ante/ex-post correlation analysis. Several cohorts of students along the years have been asked to solve some design problems at the beginning of the course, when no topics have been thought yet. An adapted creativity metrics enriched to map course contents measures the students' performance at the beginning ot the class (ex-ante). These results get correlated to the students' final grades (ex-post) in order to highlight areas where teaching has a stronger impact and those where talent remains predominant.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Creativity | Design education

[30] Becattini N., Cascini G., O'Hare J.A., Morosi F., Boujut J.F., Extracting and analysing design process data from log files of ICT supported co-creative sessions, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 2019-August, 129-138, (2019). Abstract

Abstract: The observation of designers' behaviour in collaborative design activities and the analysis of protocols improved the understanding of how novel ideas emerge, what occurs among designers and, indirectly, what methods have a good impact on the outcomes. Yet, protocol analysis requires recording the design sessions, often in a simulated environment, thus introducing a bias in the observation. Moreover, the analysis takes up to 1000 times the duration of the observed design session. These limitations definitely hinder the scalability of this practice to large experiments in real operational environments. This paper investigates the possibility to use the data collected in log files, automatically recorded during collaborative design sessions assisted by an ICT design support tool, as a means to extract relevant information about the design process and ultimately to infer insights about co-designers' cognition during the session. In this perspective, the paper proposes a set of metrics tailored to an Augmented Reality-based collaborative design tool. The study has been carried about by processing the data collected in 5 real case studies conducted in three different design companies.

Keywords: Big data | Collaborative design | Design informatics | Design Protocol Analysis | Human behaviour in design

[31] Jia L., Becattini N., Cascini G., Tan R., Testing design stimuli for design-by-analogy on a large set of designers, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, (2018). Abstract

Abstract: This paper presents evidence supporting the hypothesis that, for designers not specifically trained in designing-by-analogy, the sources of inspiration that share the same (sub-functions) and context of the target system lead to ideas having higher novelty and quality. The exploration of the design space gets positively affected as well. These evidence emerge after the statistical analysis of the results of an experiment that involved 84 graduate students in Mechanical Engineering, with typical competencies on engineering design, but without any specific skill on analogy-based idea generation.

Keywords: Creative stimuli | Design-by-analogy | Experiment | Idea generation

[32] Becattini N., Cascini G., O'Hare J.A., Masclet C., Coding schemes for the analysis of ict supported co-creative design sessions, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 2, 533-544, (2018). Abstract

Abstract: The paper presents a coding scheme for design protocol analysis of collaborative sessions supported by Augmented Reality. It maps verbal interactions during creative sessions, so as to distinguish co-designers' intentions and the related contents characterizing the characteristics of the design proposal in terms of items and related parameters. Three different co-creative sessions and a tailored metrics allowed for checking the coding scheme effectiveness, showing good mapping capabilities and versatility of application also to compare similar sessions carried out with and without AR support.

Keywords: Collaborative design | Design cognition | Design creativity | ICT for design | Protocol analysis

[33] O'Hare J.A., Dekoninck E., Giunta L., Boujut J.F., Becattini N., Exploring the performance of augmented reality technologies in co-creative sessions: Initial results from controlled experiments, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 1, 405-416, (2018). Abstract

Abstract: Co-creation can offer business benefits such as increased speed to market, increased product quality, and a reduced risk of market failure. However, co-creative design sessions can be challenging due to communication barriers between designers and non-designers that can result in misunderstandings and inhibit the efficient exchange of ideas. The potential for augmented reality-based design representations to overcome these challenges and support more effective co-creation sessions is explored through controlled experiments conducted with professional designers and end users.

Keywords: Augmented reality (AR) | Co-creation | Co-design | Collaborative design | Technology development

[34] Parvin M., Cascini G., Becattini N., Information extracted from patents as creative stimuli for product innovation, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 6(DS87-6), 297-306, (2017). Abstract

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of information extracted from patents on the creative performance of R&D engineers involved in new product design tasks. The creative stimuli originated by domain specific patent sources are proposed in the form of problem-solutions maps possibly enriched with TRIZ contradiction models related to the challenges addressed by the patents. The effectiveness of this kind of creative stimuli has been checked with a two-phase experiment that involved 56 professional engineers as testers subdivided into design teams of 2 people each. The teams were initially asked to brainstorm and generate innovative ideas in the field of devices for walking support (walkers). The 28 teams were, then, exposed to 4 different treatments (7 teams each): simple brainstorming as control group, problem-solution maps with and without related TRIZ contradiction models, patent-text used as far-field sources of analogy. The results of the experiment show that the problem-solution maps alone enhance variety of generated solutions, while enriched by the TRIZ contradiction models have a higher impact on novelty despite with a smaller variety.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Creativity | Early design phases | Patents | TRIZ

[35] Becattini N., Masclet C., Ben-Guefrache F., Prudhomme G., Cascini G., Dekoninck E., Characterisation of a co-creative design session through the analysis of multi-modal interactions, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 8(DS87-8), 479-488, (2017). Abstract

Abstract: The paper presents an investigation that aims at describing the behaviour of designers, designers' client and products' end user in collaborative design sessions, which are characterized by language barriers and significant differences in the background and competencies of the involved stakeholders. The study has been developed within a European project aimed at developing a Spatial Augmented Reality based platform that enriches and facilitates the communication in co-design. Through the analysis of a real case study in the field of packaging design involving a team of ten design actors, the paper analyses with an original joint approach both the gestures and the verbal interactions of the co-design session. After describing the two tailored coding schemes that capture different facets of, respectively, the gestures and the content of the communication occurring between the participants, the paper describes the partial results and the outcomes of the joint analysis, revealing the importance of combining the two forms of study to suitably characterize the behaviour of the design actors.

Keywords: Collaborative design | Communication | Creativity | Gestures | Human behaviour in design

[36] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Surprise and design creativity: Investigating the drivers of unexpectedness, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 5(1-2), 29-47, (2017). Abstract

Abstract: Scholars argue about the role played by surprise in making new products creative. Different perspectives evaluate surprise as a nuance of novelty, an independent dimension, or an emotional reaction to new products. The paper proposes a framework of factors supposedly characterizing the emergence of surprise in terms of individuals’ interpretations and/or modifications of products’ behavior and structure. Moreover, it illustrates the outcomes of a preliminary empirical investigation about the manifestation of unexpectedness according to such a framework: the proposed factors have been checked by interpreting the motivations leading to the presence of surprise in 12 new lamps described in the literature. The experiment states the reasonability of the described factors and, as a consequence, the paper provides a contribution to better articulate the debate in the research arena.

Keywords: Creativity | Diversity | Emotion | Novelty | Surprise

[37] Becattini N., Cascini G., Rosa F., Embedding biological knowledge in a conceptual design tool, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 13(5), 701-711, (2016). Abstract

Abstract: This paper presents a methodological tool to support the search for Natural Sources of Inspiration so as to spark new ideas in designers along Bio-Inspired Design activities. The proposed tool leverages the correlation between the NIST Functional Basis and the Biomimicry Taxonomy, to allow designers with no or scarce biological knowledge to search already existing databases of natural phenomena. The methodological framework is structured so that its implementation in a CAx system can be promisingly carried out.

Keywords: Bio-Inspired Design | Biomimetics | Biomimicry

[38] Pucillo F., Becattini N., Cascini G., A UX model for the communication of experience affordances, Design Issues, 32(2), 3-18, (2016).
[39] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., What surprised you? A questionnaire to map unexpectedness through FBS variables, 4th International Conference on Design Creativity, ICDC 2016, (2016). Abstract

Abstract: The paper presents the analysis of an original online survey that aims at checking the factors triggering surprise in randomly chosen evaluators who were submitted a set of surprising products. The authors use the answers to check the capability of a situated FBS-based model to help catch the main factors triggering surprise in products, here seen as a mismatch between what is interpreted and previously conceived expectations. The survey questionnaire shows to be effective in grabbing surprising factors and the results demonstrate that the model allows a strong ex-post convergence in the investigation of surprising factors.

Keywords: Cognitive processes | Function-behaviour-structure | Surprising products

[40] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Frillici F.S., Employing Customer Value Criteria to Address Networks of Contradictions in Complex Technical Systems, Procedia CIRP, 39, 73-78, (2016). Abstract

Abstract: The diffusion of TRIZ in the industry is still under the expectations of the scientific community. According to authors' experience, barriers to industrial adoption are constituted, among the others, by difficulties in approaching problems characterized by tangled networks of parameters and, consequently, very large number of contradictions. The most tailored tools to face this problem aim at managing networks of contradictions. They try to establish the starting point for an effective problem solving process. The task suffers from subjective evaluations or difficulties with applying complex algorithmic procedures. Besides, the existing approaches overlook the potential benefits descending from overcoming each single contradiction. The authors illustrate a strategy to prioritize technical contradictions, which includes metrics concerning customer value. More specifically, the implemented criteria feature the probability of succeeding in the marketplace. Thus, a business perspective is introduced in the problem solving process. The proposal has been experimented through an application to a mature phase included in the manufacturing process of pharmaceutical tablets. Said production phase, taken as the reference technical system, figures out 239 different contradictions. The application of the developed approach allowed to individuate contradictions whose solution has considerably influenced the technical evolution of the treated industrial sector.

Keywords: customer value | networks of contradictions | pharmaceutics industry | prioritization of contradictions | TRIZ

[41] Becattini N., Cascini G., Improving self-efficacy in solving inventive problems with TRIZ, Multidisciplinary Contributions to the Science of Creative Thinking, 195-213, (2015).
[42] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Surprise as a situated phenomenon, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 11(DS 80-11), 71-80, (2015). Abstract

Abstract: Among the studies dedicated to design creativity, a significant attention is given to the investigation of its dimensions, such as novelty and usefulness. The underlying assumption is that an enhanced knowledge of them is helpful to better understand limitations of current design approaches, and improve methods and tools. While there is still a lively discussion about these dimensions, some authors highlight that among them surprise deserves to be considered an independent aspect that differs from novelty. In fact, the latter concerns unprecedented peculiarities of an artefact, while surprise tells about the unexpectedness of a feature whatever is the degree of difference with pre-existing ones. Having observed the lack of reference models to investigate the emergence of surprise when a user first meets a new artefact, the authors propose an original model to describe the occurring cognitive processes. The model exploits some fundamental concepts of Gero's situated FBS framework and represent surprise as a mismatch between the interpretation of reality given by an observer and her/his expectations due to previous experiences. The model is illustrated by means of three examples.

Keywords: Creativity | FBS | Situatedness | Surprise

[43] Becattini N., Cascini G., Rotini F., Requirements checklists: Benchmarking the comprehensiveness of the design specification, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 5(DS 80-05), 41-50, (2015). Abstract

Abstract: It is commonly recognized that the definition of product requirements is an essential step of any design process. Many techniques have been proposed for building a suitable design specification, i.e. for defining a set of requirements characterized by validity, completeness, operationality, non-redundancy, conciseness and practicability. Among them, several methods and tools primarily aim at populating the design specification: some of them focus on very specific objectives but are applicable in many different domains (e.g., Design for X). Others are domain specific, but try to cover the entire scope of the specification (e.g., checklists and standards). This paper describes an abstract-level checklist for requirements definition, suitable for any field of application, aiming at producing exhaustive lists of requirements. A previous experimental application with Mechanical Engineering students clearly showed that the proposed multi-purpose checklist allows populating design specifications more complete than those defined without any support. This paper follows up demonstrating the capability of the novel checklist against the checklist for conceptual design by Pahl and Beitz.

Keywords: Design education | Design methods | Design specification | Requirements | Requirements checklists

[44] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., An investigation on factors triggering surprise, ICDC 2015 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Design Creativity, 80-87, (2015). Abstract

Abstract: Scholars argue about the role played by surprise in making new products creative. Different perspectives evaluate surprise as a nuance of novelty, an independent dimension or an emotional reaction to new products. The paper illustrates the outcomes of an empirical investigation about surprising artefacts, resulting in the individuation of factors impacting the manifestation of unexpectedneb in terms of individuals' interpretations and/or modifications of products' behaviour and structure. Such factors have been checked by interpreting the motivations leading to the presence of surprise in 12 new lamps described in the literature. The experiment states the reasonability of the described factors and, as a consequence, the paper provides a contribution to better articulate the debate in the research arena.

Keywords: Diversity | Novelty | Surprising products

[45] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., ARIZ85 and patent-driven knowledge support, Procedia Engineering, 131, 291-302, (2015). Abstract

Abstract: The growing complexity of technical solutions, which encompass knowledge from different scientific fields, makes necessary, also for multi-disciplinary working teams, the consultation of information sources. Indeed, tacit knowledge is essential, but often not sufficient to achieve a proficient problem solving process. Besides, the most comprehensive tool of the TRIZ body of knowledge, i.e. ARIZ, requires, more or less explicitly, the retrieval of new knowledge in order to entirely exploit its potential to drive towards valuable solutions. A multitude of contributions from the literature support various common tasks encountered when using TRIZ and requiring additional information; most of them hold the objective of speeding up the generation of inventive solutions thanks to the capabilities of text mining techniques. Nevertheless, no global study has been conducted to fully disclose the effective knowledge requirements of ARIZ. With respect to this deficiency, the present paper illustrates an analysis of the algorithm with the specific objective of identifying the different types of information needs that can be satisfied by patents. The results of the investigation lay bare the most significant gaps of the research in the field. Further on, an initial proposal is advanced to structure the retrieval of relevant information from patent sources currently not supported by existing methodologies and software applications, so as to exploit the vast amount of technical knowledge contained in there. An illustrative experiment sheds light on the relevance of control parameters as input terms for the definition of search queries aimed at retrieving patents sharing the same physical contradiction of the problem to be treated.

Keywords: ARIZ85 | Explicit knowledge | Information retrieval | Patent

[46] Cascini G., Becattini N., Kaikov I., Koziolek S., Kucharavy D., Nikulin C., Petrali P., Slupinsky M., Rabie M., Balachandar R., Ruggeri L., Vanherck K., FORMAT - Building an original methodology for Technology Forecasting through researchers exchanges between industry and academia, Procedia Engineering, 131, 1084-1093, (2015). Abstract

Abstract: The paper presents an overview of the FORMAT methodology, an approach for technological forecasting capable of satisfying the need of manufacturing industries to better support decision-making processes in planning corporate strategies for R&D. The methodology has been developed within the FORMAT consortium, gathering partners from both industry and academia in a Marie-Curie EU funded project of the 7th Framework Programme - IAPP PEOPLE. The methodology is intentionally shaped as a generic one, so as to foster its adoption by the wider audience, but it suggests the adoption of several TRIZ techniques and models to support the forecast. Its exemplary application in the field of forming technologies for domestic refrigerators aims at showing its potential and viability in a real industrial context. The paper is supplemented by a case study in the white goods manufacturing (forming techniques for the inner liners of domestic refrigerators).

Keywords: Laws of engneering systems evolution | Logistic regression | Manufacturing technologies | S-curve analysis | Techological Forecasting | Vacuum forming

[47] Becattini N., Cascini G., Nikulin C., Modelling the dynamics of products and processes requirements, Procedia Engineering, 131, 661-671, (2015). Abstract

Abstract: This paper proposes a new modelling framework aimed at overcoming the current limitations of existing techniques for the representation of products and processes within a Technology Forecasting study. Starting from the review of the available modelling approaches, the authors define system requirements as the key elements to represent both drivers and barriers for the evolution of technical systems, analysed in the context of a business process. The new proposal allows such requirements to be mapped in an integrated and scalable model connecting finished goods with the related business processes, so as to collect the knowledge from different experts and stakeholders in a unified and manageable description, thus reducing the risks due to uncertain and partial representation. The paper presents also an example of application in the field of pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing, focusing on the industrial processes requiring the granulation of pharmaceutical powders. An in-depth discussion about the emerged criticalities supports the definition of further developments to make this approach more repeatable and suitable for Technology Forecasting methodologies.

Keywords: Decision making | Process model | Product model | Technology evolution | Technology forecasting

[48] Becattini N., Cascini G., Rotini F., OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems for evaluating the design skills of engineering students, Procedia Engineering, 131, 689-700, (2015). Abstract

Abstract: This paper aims at exploring the opportunities coming from the application of the OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems as a means for mapping the design steps of engineering students coping with design problems. Both the design rationale and the design protocol can be analyzed to support the evaluation of the overall outcomes of students downwards a course on systematic design, considering both the ideas they generate and the process they follow for the ideation. The paper proposes a few improvements for the OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems, so as to adapt it for such a purpose. Some demonstrations of the applicability of the proposed method are presented by means of two different design problems faced by groups of students having homogeneous levels of expertise and engineering skills. The results, got through a research method here detailed, highlight that the proposed approach allows the evaluators/analysts to carry out the time-demanding protocol studies with significant savings in time. Moreover, this model allows the definition of appropriate metrics to carry out homogenous and more objective evaluations among students.

Keywords: Design rationale | Design skills | Engineering students evaluation | OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems | Protocol analysis

[49] Becattini N., Cascini G., Petrali P., Pucciarini A., Production processes modeling for identifying technology substitution opportunities, Procedia Engineering, 131, 14-29, (2015). Abstract

Abstract: This paper describes the first outcomes of a joined research project between Politecnico di Milano and Whirlpool Europe aimed at establishing a systematic industrial approach to anticipate technological demands and solutions to manufacture future household appliances, by taking into account emergence, performances and drawbacks of manufacturing technologies. This work adds new elements of analysis to the forecasting approach proposed by the authors in previous publications and updates its metric for classifying Evaluation Parameters with a detailed set of criteria to characterize the outcomes, the drawbacks and the main resources consumption of a generic industrial process. Such set allows a preliminary extraction of information from technical experts, with no specific TRIZ know- how, in order to ease the process of identifying the main barriers (in TRIZ terms, contradictions) limiting the development of current technologies and/or their substitution with new industrial processes. The original content of the paper is clarified by means of a case study related to an application of the methodology concerning the foaming process of domestic refrigerators.

Keywords: Evaluation parameters | Maturity assessment | Technology benchmarking | Technology forecasting

[50] Becattini N., Cascini G., General-purpose requirements checklist for improving the completeness of a design specification, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 2014-January, 111-120, (2014).
[51] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Does experience in design and innovation affect the perception of creativity?, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 7 DS75-07, 129-138, (2013). Abstract

Abstract: The assessment of creativity arouses increasing interest within design community. The literature witnesses efforts to quantitatively measure creativity, although commonly considered intrinsically subjective. Recent experiences show a good degree of convergence between assessments employing more objective metrics and evaluations of creativity made by experts in design and innovation. With the overall goal of determining whether such judgments are reliable and repeatable, the present paper analyzes creativity assessments of commercial products performed by skilled and novice designers in order to highlight further differences due to accumulated experience. The investigation is carried out by means of a suitable questionnaire asking to evaluate the creativity of 10 market successes and 10 commercial flops. The experiment tests also whether commercial results can strongly influence the perception of creativity. The outcomes reveal that experience is supposed to play a not negligible role in evaluating creativity, while the question about the impact of market success requires further investigation. © 2013 The Design Society.

Keywords: Creativity | Experts' assessment | Innovation | Novices' assessment

[52] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Question/answer techniques within CAD environments: An investigation about the most effective interfaces, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(6), 905-917, (2013). Abstract

Abstract: The paper aims at exploring the opportunities for improving the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) of Computer-Aided systems for supporting designers in carrying out the early stages of the Product Development Process (PDP). In details, the authors stem from the analysis of the latest advancements and issues in the field of Question and Answer techniques, which they have already implemented in algorithms for supporting the analysis of inventive problems. According to the analysis, they identify two basic directions to improve the HCI in such systems. Literature evidences concerning the different approach of designers according to their experience point out the need of producing more flexible systems, tailored for both skilled individuals and novices. Moreover, the need emerges to both foster creativity with meaningful stimuli and introducing pictorial communication within a dialogue flow, so as to follow the common cognitive path emerged by the analysis of design protocols. The discussion shows that the combination of textual and graphical interactions is crucial to support the cognitive processes in design. Such blend allows to introduce stimuli viable to reduce design fixation and psychological inertia, that affect negatively the outcome of the idea generation stage. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Cognition | Computer-aided innovation | Emotion | Engineering design | HCI

[53] Becattini N., Cascini G., Mapping causal relationships and conflicts among design parameters and system requirements, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(4), 643-662, (2013). Abstract

Abstract: This paper proposes a Computer-Aided tool aimed at increasing the efficiency of the Product Development Process by bridging the definition of system requirements to the preliminary assessment of the impacts of design choices on product characteristics. In details, it supports the designer in the definition of desired and undesired characteristics of a technical system throughout its entire lifecycle, according to a standardized set of criteria for eliciting and organizing knowledge from experts. The Computer-Aided tool also assist the user in managing the complex network between design variables and system requirements, characterizing their cause-and-effect relationships with the objective of determining critical parameters for product design. The paper also presents an exemplary application of the software prototype in the field of washing machines with the purpose of highlighting that a progressive integration of this kind of instruments into existing CAD/CAE tools also allows to promptly determine a connection between requirements and objectives of physically based simulations. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Design variables | PLM | System parameters | System requirements

[54] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., A TRIZ-based CAI framework to guide engineering students towards a broad-spectrum investigation of inventive technical problems, International Journal of Engineering Education, 29(2), 318-333, (2013). Abstract

Abstract: Nowadays, a growing consensus is attributed to conceptual design in the perspective of developing effective and successful products; as a consequence, major efforts should be dedicated within the Computer-Aided Innovation field to correctly support this task. A particular line of evolution of these systems concern computer coaches, i.e. software applications capable to assist users along each step of design activities. In such perspective the authors have developed a dialogue-based system supporting a natural language questioning procedure to investigate technical problems through TRIZ way of thinking.Anemerging deficiency of its first version concerns limited capabilities in providing a broad screening of the issues and features relevant within the encountered inventive problems. The integration of a further analysis module supporting the logic of the TRIZ System Operator has allowed the individuation of effective resources for breaking technical conflicts inherent to the investigated systems or formalizing contradictions in TRIZ terms. The paper provides further support about the need of developing broad thinking skills in engineering education. The new generation of Computer-Aided systems is extending its scope, by supporting the user already from the early design stages, where creativity and cognitive processes are of paramount importance. In such context, the authors have developed a natural language dialogue-based framework capable to coach designers in investigating non-routine technical problems through a TRIZ way of thinking. The first version of the questioning procedure has showed limitations in terms of the capability to widen the designer's perspective, resulting in the overlooking of aspects relevant for the problem. The new version of the dialogue-based system integrates a further analysis module, here presented, supporting the logic of the TRIZ System Operator. New tests demonstrate that the modification allows to improve the quality of the analyses, especially in terms of the identification of features to be advantageously redesigned in order to solve the addressed problems. © 2013 TEMPUS Publications.

Keywords: Broad-spectrum investigation | Computer aided innovation | Dialogue-based system | Inventive problem analysis | TRIZ

[55] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., About the introduction of a dialogue-based interaction within CAD systems, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(3), 499-514, (2013). Abstract

Abstract: CAD systems are nowadays extending their domain of application towards the preliminary phases of the design process, with the emergence of Computer-Aided Innovation - CAI. However, the first generation of CAI commercial software is far from achieving the intended objectives; among them, the diffused TRIZ-based systems made no exception. Particular limitations are highlighted within the embodiment design stage with reference to the support provided by CAx tools in fulfilling product specifications, whenever the generated solutions do not satisfy system requirements. The authors propose to overcome the current limitations by implementing a dialoguebased system into the framework of existing CAD applications, to support the designer in overcoming problems emerged during the initial design stages. The manuscript illustrates a refined set of requirements for a Dialogue-Based CAD system according to the outcomes of a testing campaign carried out with a preliminary version of a question-answer framework. The proposed instrument is capable to measure the achievement of all the major characteristics highlighted by the survey of established models for carrying out embodiment design. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Dialogue-based interaction | Embodiment design | Innovation

[56] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Assessing the performance of computerized tools for inventive design: Insights from unsatisfactory outcomes, CIRP Design 2012 - Sustainable Product Development, 93-103, (2013). Abstract

Abstract: Computers actually support, almost automatically, routine tasks such as those related to the optimization in design. Besides, the scientific community shows a growing interest in developing computer systems to aid non-routine tasks as a key to enhance individuals' creativity and innovation potential. In such a context, several attempts have been made to create tools based on the TRIZ logic to support inventive problem solving; some of them have been commercialized since decades, but still there is no established paradigm and all of them suffer from several limitations. So far the analysis of those limitations has been focused on the structure and on the nominal features of the software tools, while no in-depth and systematic investigation has been made to identify the reasons behind the partial failure of the existing systems. This paper proposes a set of general criteria to perform the evaluation of computerized tools supporting inventive design and reports an exemplary application, through protocol analysis, to the dialogue-based computerized algorithm for problem analysis, published by the authors in the past. © Springer-Verlag London 2013.

[57] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Experiencing protocol analysis of computer-guided design tasks, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, DS 70, 1821-1830, (2012).
[58] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Model and algorithm for computer-aided inventive problem analysis, CAD Computer Aided Design, 44(10), 961-986, (2012). Abstract

Abstract: The paper presents the research activity developed by the authors in the field of computer-aided inventive problem solving: an original model and a dialogue-based software application have been developed by integrating the logic of ARIZ (Algorithm for the Inventive Problem Solving) with some OTSM-TRIZ (General Theory of Powerful Thinking) models in order to guide a user also with no TRIZ education to the analysis of inventive problems. The paper demonstrates that through a dialogue-based interaction it is possible to guide the user towards a proper formulation of the problem statement, which is an essential step of any conceptual design activity. The proposed software system, although still at a prototype stage, has been tested with students at Politecnico di Milano and at the University of Florence. The paper details the structure of the algorithm and the results of the first validation activity; then, it discusses about the possibility to integrate the proposed approach into a new generation of CAD systems. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Innovation | Conceptual design | Dialogue-based system | OTSM-TRIZ | Problem solving

[59] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Computer-aided problem solving - Part 2: A dialogue-based system to support the analysis of inventive problems, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 355 AICT, 132-148, (2011). Abstract

Abstract: The paper illustrates an original model and a dialogue-based software application that have been developed by integrating the logic of ARIZ with some OTSM-TRIZ models, in order to guide a user, also with no TRIZ background, to the analysis of inventive problems. The dialogue-based procedure brings to the construction of a model of the inventive problem, which is used both to trigger new solutions by highlighting different solving perspectives and to start an automatic knowledge search within technical and scientific information. The prototype system has been tested with students at Politecnico di Milano and at the University of Florence. The paper details the structure of the algorithm and the results of the first validation activity. © 2011 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Innovation | conceptual design | dialogue-based system | OTSM-TRIZ | problem solving

[60] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Computer-aided problem solving - Part 1: Objectives, approaches, opportunities, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 355 AICT, 117-131, (2011). Abstract

Abstract: Among the different aims and scopes of Computer-Aided Innovation (CAI) systems a relevant topic is the support of inventive problem solving tasks. The paper presents the research activity developed by the authors in this domain, encompassing the review of the distinctive features of problems encountered by designers and the common approaches employed to overcome them. A further thread of the investigation carried out in this paper concerns the limitations of computer-based approaches exploiting acknowledged models for problem solving. Downstream of the performed analysis the authors highlight the requirements that a novel CAI application should fulfil, supporting the opportunities for building a dialogue-based system. © 2011 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Innovation | conceptual design | dialogue-based system | inventive problem solving

[61] Becattini N., Cascini G., Rotini F., Correlations between the evolution of contradictions and the law of identity increase, Procedia Engineering, 9, 236-250, (2011). Abstract

Abstract: TRIZ literature largely claims the efficiency of Altshuller's Laws of Engineering System Evolution (LESE) as a means for producing technology forecasts. Besides, all the instruments and the procedures proposed so far suffer from poor repeatability, thus limiting the adoption of TRIZ instruments as reliable means for the analysis of emerging technologies and their potential impact. In a previous work [1, 2] the authors have presented their modelling approach based on a combination of well known TRIZ techniques and traditional engineering design reference models. The outcome is a Network of Evolutionary Trends which supports decision making by positioning alternative technologies and technical solutions according to the LESE. The choice of the favourite strategic direction is still assigned to the beneficiaries of the forecast, since decisions will be taken also based on their mission and values. Besides, it is necessary providing further means of judgement to the decision makers. According to this purpose, it is useful to assess the maturity level of the analyzed technologies. The present work is a study about the correlations existing between the evolution of contradictions and the Law of Ideality increase, as a means to estimate the stage of development of a Technical System. The paper details the method proposed to make a systematic comparison of the contradictions related to each technology. The approach is clarified by means of a case study related to the production of tablets in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Contradiction | Laws of engineering systems evolution | Technology forcasting

[62] Baldussu A., Becattini N., Cascini G., Network of contradictions analysis and structured identification of critical control parameters, Procedia Engineering, 9, 3-17, (2011). Abstract

Abstract: This paper aims at improving the efficiency of an inventive problem solving process for complex systems, by reducing the iterations due to the emergence of new problems caused by the implementation of the identified solution. The proposed algorithm guides the problem solver in choosing the most important contradiction to be faced with ARIZ85-C and provides further instructions about the best approach to be followed. Such purpose is achieved by organizing the characteristic parameters of a Technical System according to a specific metric, which allows both the construction of a Network of Contradictions and the definition of criteria for identifying priorities. An exemplary application of the proposed method has been carried out in the field of exhaust noise in 4-stroke engines. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: ARIZ | Computer-aided innovation | Network of contradictions | Problem complexity