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Research Papers

Evaluating the Impact of Idea Dissemination Methods on Information Loss

[+] Author and Article Information
Zixuan Victoria Zhao

Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
610 Purdue Mall,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: zhao831@purdue.edu

Christian E. Lopez

Mem. ASME
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
State College, PA 16802
e-mail: cql5441@psu.edu

Conrad S. Tucker

Mem. ASME
Engineering Design, Industrial and
Manufacturing Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
State College, PA 16802
e-mail: ctucker4@psu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Computers and Information Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 15, 2018; final manuscript received December 18, 2018; published online March 18, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Jitesh H. Panchal.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 19(3), 031006 (Mar 18, 2019) (12 pages) Paper No: JCISE-18-1247; doi: 10.1115/1.4042553 History: Received September 15, 2018; Revised December 18, 2018

Information is transferred through a process consisting of an information source, a transmitter, a channel, a receiver, and its destination. Unfortunately, during the engineering design process, there is a risk of a design idea or solution being incorrectly transferred and interpreted due to the nonlinearity of the process, and many ways to communicate and disseminate ideas or solutions. The objective of this work is to explore the amount of relevant design information transmitted by different idea dissemination methods and how the receiver's familiarity with the idea impacts the effectiveness of the methods. First, this work explores the advantages and disadvantages of different dissemination methods in engineering design. Next, an experiment is conducted with engineering and nonengineering participants in order to quantify the information transmitted by different idea dissemination methods. This work also quantifies the effect that receivers' familiarity with a design artifact has on the amount of information transmitted by different dissemination methods. Finally, the results obtained from the experiments are compared with a previous theoretical model for validation. The results indicate that while certain methods are perceived as more informative and are able to convey more information than others (e.g., linguistic textual description versus virtual three-dimensional (3D) models), the effectiveness of the methods depends on a receiver's familiarity with the ideas being transmitted. Knowledge gained from this work can aid designers in selecting a suitable dissemination method needed to effectively communicate ideas and achieve a design solution.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

A parallel drawn between information theory and the engineering design process [93]

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Fig. 2

Product information given different communications methods4

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Fig. 3

Example of product information questionnaires for the TV remote controller

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Fig. 4

Example of demographics and experience questionnaire

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Fig. 5

Formalizing the process of selecting the appropriate idea dissemination method when familiarity is considered [93]

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