Structure-mapping: A theoretical framework for analogy (01 Jan 1983)
This paper introduces the structure-mapping theory of analogy and similarity. Analogy is seen as a mapping of knowledge between two domains that conveys that the same system of relations holds within the target domain as within the base domain. In interpreting an analogy, people seek to match relational structure; object correspondences are determined by like roles in the common relational structure, rather than by direct object-level similarities. The mapping process is guided by the implicit constraints of structural consistency - e.g., 1-1 correspondence between elements of the base and elements of the target - and systematicity - a preference for mapping predicates that belong to a connected system of matching relations, rather than isolated predicates. The theory provides a framework for differentiating kinds of similarity match, such as analogy, literal similarity, and relational abstraction matches. Structure-mapping has had a large influence on research in analogy and similarity and has informed research in broader arenas such as learning and categorization.
Article URL: http://cognitrn.psych.indiana.edu/rgoldsto/cogsci/Gentner.pdf