A quantitative study of creative leaps

Lior Noy*, Yuval Hart, Natalie Andrew, Omer Ramote, Avi Mayo, Uri Alon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We present a novel quantitative approach for studying creative leaps. Participants explored the space of shapes composed of ten adjacent squares, searching for 'interesting and beautiful' shapes. By recording players' actions we were able to quantitatively study aspects of their exploration process. In particular our goal is to identify populated sub-regions in the shape space and study the dynamics of 'creative leaps': a jump from one such area to another. We present here the experimental system, our methods of analysis and some preliminary results. We show that the network of shapes created by human participants is different from the class of networks created by applying a simple random-walk algorithm. Chosen shapes show an interesting negative correlation between their abundance and the probability to be chosen as beautiful. We further analyzed the human network unique signature using its network motifs profile. Intriguingly, this signature shows similarity to words-adjacency networks extracted from texts. Lastly, we find preliminary evidence that human players exhibit two types of exploration: 'scavenging', where shapes similar in their visualiconic meaning are quickly accumulated, and 'creative leaps', where players shift to a new region in the shape space after a prolonged search. We plan to build upon this result to quantitatively study creative processes in general and creative leaps in particular.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Computational Creativity, ICCC 2012
EditorsDan Ventura, Mary Lou Maher, Alison Pease, Kristian Hammond, Rafael Perez y Perez, Geraint Wiggins
PublisherUniversity College Dublin
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781905254668
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd International Conference on Computational Creativity, ICCC 2012 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 30 May 20121 Jun 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Computational Creativity, ICCC 2012


Conference3rd International Conference on Computational Creativity, ICCC 2012


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