Communities Resolving Our Problems: the basic idea
[SUP: Finding Problems] [THINK: Shaping Problems] [LEAP: Solving Problems]

Patterns in Problem Solving

Sometimes a pattern that has been used to solve a problem in one setting can be used to as a solution pattern for a new problem, even in different fields of study. That is, a pattern for solving a problem in architecture may find application in politics or software design. Examining the study of patterns yields many useful approaches. If one can find an existing pattern to solving the problem, it naturally accelerates the solution process. A single pattern might be applied in millions of different ways in diverse settings. Considering and selecting from among those patterns is also part of the problem framing or shaping phase.

A significant body of work on such patterns has developed from the writings of Christopher Alexander. His web site leads to his large body of work.

Many in software design and development have pursued this line of thought. Ward Cunningham, the inventor of the Wiki concept, maintains a wiki that focuses on the study of patterns in problem solving.


Pub: v1.0,  6/29/05; v1.1 10/8/08 v1.1  |  Page author Houghton