Sufficient conditions for inventive solutions

Oded Z. Maimon, Roni Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Engineering systems are developed through numerous modification cycles. Most of them arise from routine engineering processes such as optimization or by adopting new technologies. On occasion though, a system is modified through a qualitatively different process: a creative process. We call this type of modification a design invention. Our paper presents an objective metric for the evaluation of the inventiveness of an engineering solution. This metric can be used not only to evaluate a known solution but also to guide the search toward new design inventions. This paper presents a formal treatment of the sufficient conditions with illustrative examples and case studies. An empirical study demonstrates that solutions which satisfy the conditions tend to score high on creativity evaluation by field experts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-361
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part C: Applications and Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


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