Analogies and Analogical Reasoning in Invention

  • Ulf KrumnackEmail author
  • Kai-Uwe Kühnberger
  • Angela Schwering
  • Tarek R. Besold
Living reference work entry


The Concepts “Analogy” and “Invention”


An analogy is usually considered as a structural mapping between a source (base) and a target domain. To establish an analogy, common substructures of the two domains are identified and mapped to each other, resulting in an analogical relation. The establishment of an analogy is usually governed by certain constraints, like systematicity, structural consistency, or a one-to-one restriction on possible mappings, although there is no general accepted set of such principles. Analogy-making can also be regarded as the establishment of a generalization, identifying an abstract core that consists of the common structures of both domains and ignores surface appearance and domain peculiarities (cf. Fig. 1). Analogies are usually not judged right or wrong; rather, they can be more or less plausible, based on the degree of structural coherence that they exhibit, possibly depending on the context and...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Krumnack
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kai-Uwe Kühnberger
    • 1
  • Angela Schwering
    • 2
  • Tarek R. Besold
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany
  2. 2.Institute for GeoinformaticsUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  3. 3.Digital Media Lab, Center for Computing and Communication Technologies (TZI)University of BremenBremenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marta Peris Ortiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business OrganizationPolytechnic University of ValenciaValenciaSpain