Information-based Ideation-Nov. 15th Reading Review

Kerne, A., Smith, S.M., Webb, A., Linder, Lupfer, N., Qu, Y., R., Moeller, J., Damaraju, S.,Information-based Ideation Metrics show that Mixed-Initiative Information Composition Provokes Creativity, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ToCHI), 21(3), June 2014, 48 pages.

It is interesting to know that there is a way to measure creativity academically, from fluency(# of ideas), flexibility(# of categories of ideas) and novelty(rareness of ideas) factors. Also, it is interesting to see the result that information-based ideation works better in creativity.

This research introduces information-based ideation (IBI), a paradigm for investigating open-ended tasks and activities in which users develop new ideas.

This article formulates a quantitative methodology for evaluating IBI support tools, building on prior creative cognition research in engineering design to derive ideation metrics of curation. It features two kinds of metrics:

  • Elemental ideation metrics: which evaluate creativity within curated found objects.
  • and Holistic ideation metrics: which evaluate how a curation puts elements together.

Authors have raised two creative cognition challenges for IBI:

  • Overcoming fixation — for instance, when a person gets stuck in a counterproductive mental set.
  • Bridge information visualization’s synthesis gap, by providing support for connecting findings.

To address the challenges, authors have developed mixed-initiative information composition (MI2C), integrating human curation of information composition with automated agents of information retrieval and visualization.

They derived two hypothesizes:

  • MI2C generates provocative stimuli that help users overcome fixation to become more creative on IBI tasks;
  • MI2C’s integration of curation and visualization bridges the synthesis gap to help users become more creative.

Then, authors have conducted several researches to test these hypothesizes:

  • Mean elemental ideation metrics of curation

Curations from the Proactive Stimuli condition (in red) possess significantly greater IBI than the Control condition (in blue) for all elemental metrics, except for Text Fluency. Error bars show standard errors of the mean.

  • Mean holistic ideation metrics

Participants’ curations in the Provocative Stimuli condition exhibited significantly increased Emergence (the metric associated with synthesis) and significantly decreased Visual Presentation.

Reflecting back on the final project we are doing right now, it is valuable to acknowledge that an abstract concept like creativity could be measured quantitively with specifically designed approaches. It inspires our group to think of how to measure customization and new recipes of cocktails users created with our software, which may opens a new area of research.