A comparison of design and nondesign problem spaces

Vinod Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Design problem solving has attracted considerable attention since the 1960s. Much of the work in the 'design methodology' tradition has been underwritten by the assumption that design constitutes a 'natural' category of problem solving. However, the assumption itself, has not been adequately explored. This paper is a contribution to this effort. Verbal protocols from three different design disciplines - architecture, mechanical engineering and instructional design - are compared with each other, and with verbal protocols from two nondesign tasks (cryptarithmetic and the Moore-Anderson tasks). It is found that design problem spaces share many common features, and differ in significant ways from nondesign problem spaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
JournalArtificial Intelligence in Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • cryptarithmetic
  • design
  • Moore-Anderson tasks
  • nondesign
  • problem solving
  • protocol analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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