Agent Based Modelling of Product Invention



This study describes a novel simulation model of the
process of product invention. Invention is conceptualized as a
process of directed evolutionary adaptation, on a landscape of
product design possibilities, by a population of profit-seeking
agents (inventors). The simulation experiments examine the
sensitivity of the rate of advance in product fitness to the
choice of search heuristics employed by inventors. The key finding
of the experiments is that if search heuristics are confined to
those which are rooted in past experience, or to heuristics which
merely generate variety, limited product advance occurs. Notable
product fitness advance only occurs when inventors' expectations
as to the relative fitness of potential product inventions are
incorporated into the model of invention. The results demonstrate
the importance of human direction and expectations in invention.

They also support the importance of formal product / project

evaluation procedures in organizations, and the importance of

market information when inventing new products.


Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2005), June 2005

Cited by

Year 2009 : 1 citations

 Joseph John Engler (2009). Innovation As A Complex Adaptive System. PhD Thesis, University of Iowa, 2009.