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Creativity techniques for computer scientists

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This a comprehensive list of creativity techniques especially crafter for computer scientists.

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Creativity techniques for computer scientists

  1. 1. 1Challenge the future Creativity Techniques for computer scientists Marco Cattani Embedded Software Group, Delft University of Technology
  2. 2. 2Challenge the future Classic Brainstorming •  Find small group of persons •  Define initial topic/problem •  Make sure topic is clear •  Avoid criticism and aim at quantity (facilitator) •  Clarify and combine ideas •  Select valuable ideas •  Structured •  Schedule who can speak •  Write ideas on post-it •  Un-structured •  Everyone can speak at anytime Generate new, valuable ideas by interacting with others
  3. 3. 3Challenge the future How to improve our creativity? •  Diverge •  Exploration •  Diversification •  Converge •  Focus •  Selection … it works even with tea! Before coffee the ideas, after coffee criticism Alex Osborn
  4. 4. 4Challenge the future DIVERGE Create new ideas
  5. 5. 5Challenge the future Biomimicry •  Find parallelism •  Study nature’s solution •  Adapt solution Example Ant colony optimization, epidemic protocols Imitate nature to solve our problems
  6. 6. 6Challenge the future Personal analogy •  Personify the subject with human characteristics •  Role playing ( e.g. feelings) •  Connect analog and subject Example Human behaviors in network protocols (gossip, 3-way handshake, routing) Identify with a process/concept to get a new point of view
  7. 7. 7Challenge the future Osborn checklist •  Adapt/Modify/Substitute? •  Magnify/Eliminate? •  Rearrange/Reversal? •  Combine/Other use? Example Image processing techniques for graphs (edge detection) Develop new solutions from existing ideas
  8. 8. 8Challenge the future Challenge assumptions •  List the problem assumptions •  Chose 1 and challenge it •  Solve problem from this new prospective Example What is computers have no storage or energy supply? (Cloud, Autharkic Computing) Removing a core assumption to create an innovative idea/product
  9. 9. 9Challenge the future Random input •  Select a random noun (concrete or known) •  Use this work as a starting- point for the brainstorm Example Solution initialization in problem optimization Link another thinking pattern into the one we are using using random stimuli
  10. 10. 10Challenge the future Redefinition •  State original, narrower, broader problem •  Why we want to solve it? •  What stops us from that? Example Overcome wireless channel congestion with VLC Hierarchically redefine our problem to find more general/specific solutions
  11. 11. 11Challenge the future Medici effect •  Select an unrelated field •  Search for solution to analog problem in that field •  Adapt the solutions Example Leader election, simulated annealing Exploits how ideas in seemingly unrelated topics/fields intersect
  12. 12. 12Challenge the future Misunderstanding •  Define some constrains •  Describe an existing solution •  By misunderstanding, we create a new solution Example Mouse with no buttons, from an un-finished apple prototype Create new solutions when trying to understand an existing one
  13. 13. 13Challenge the future Reverse Brainstorming •  Identify different ways of causing the problem •  Find ways of prevent this causes to happen Example Ex hackers that invents new security techniques Causing the problems is the first way of learn how to solve them
  14. 14. 14Challenge the future SIT (systematic inventive thinking) •  Remove components •  Make one of more copies •  Divide into parts (modular) •  Unify tasks into 1 component Example Multi-channel mac protocols, object oriented programming Subtraction, multiplication, division, unification
  15. 15. 15Challenge the future CONVERGE Select valuable ideas
  16. 16. 16Challenge the future COCD-Box Everyone put a colored post-it on each idea based on its originality and feasibility •  Consider green ideas •  Discard blue ideas •  Keep yellow ideas for later Detect innovative, feasible ideas using a classification technique
  17. 17. 17Challenge the future Force-field analysis Plot opposing forces (proportional) and draw conclusions •  Overall force? •  Increase for? •  Mitigate against? For Against Understand the forces for and against an idea
  18. 18. 18Challenge the future 100 euro test Assume you have 100 euro •  Allocate money to ideas •  After everyone finish, review your decision •  Select richest ideas Idea $1 $2 Total On which idea will you spend your money?
  19. 19. 19Challenge the future Negative selection Review the problem definition •  Sort into no and maybe •  Repeat if necessary Idea No Maybe To shorten a long list of ideas by finding what is wrong with each idea
  20. 20. 20Challenge the future NUF test Grade each idea from 1 to 10 on three parts •  New: never tried before •  Useful: solves the problem •  Feasible: can be implemented in practice Check if an idea is likely to be effective and work in practice Criteria Score Comm. New Useful Feasible TOTAL
  21. 21. 21Challenge the future PINC filter Discuss each idea and add notes to each section •  Positives: add values •  Intriguing: could be of value •  Negatives: remove values •  Concerning: could remove value Idea Positives Negatives Intriguing Concerning Evaluate deeply a short list of ideas
  22. 22. 22Challenge the future Conclusions •  Creativity can be improved with some training and few tricks •  When you try to solve a problem, you are not programming. Break the rules and don’t stay inside the lines •  Innovation is not creativity. Once you generated lots of ideas, it is time to select and elaborate the most promising ones Few more words about the creativity process:

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