Entropy and Gravity Concepts as New Methodological Indexes to Investigate Technological Convergence: Patent Network-Based ApproachReport as inadecuate

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The volatility and uncertainty in the process of technological developments are growing faster than ever due to rapid technological innovations. Such phenomena result in integration among disparate technology fields. At this point, it is a critical research issue to understand the different roles and the propensity of each element technology for technological convergence. In particular, the network-based approach provides a holistic view in terms of technological linkage structures. Furthermore, the development of new indicators based on network visualization can reveal the dynamic patterns among disparate technologies in the process of technological convergence and provide insights for future technological developments. This research attempts to analyze and discover the patterns of the international patent classification codes of the United States Patent and Trademark Office-s patent data in printed electronics, which is a representative technology in the technological convergence process. To this end, we apply the physical idea as a new methodological approach to interpret technological convergence. More specifically, the concepts of entropy and gravity are applied to measure the activities among patent citations and the binding forces among heterogeneous technologies during technological convergence. By applying the entropy and gravity indexes, we could distinguish the characteristic role of each technology in printed electronics. At the technological convergence stage, each technology exhibits idiosyncratic dynamics which tend to decrease technological differences and heterogeneity. Furthermore, through nonlinear regression analysis, we have found the decreasing patterns of disparity over a given total period in the evolution of technological convergence. This research has discovered the specific role of each element technology field and has consequently identified the co-evolutionary patterns of technological convergence. These new findings on the evolutionary patterns of technological convergence provide some implications for engineering and technology foresight research, as well as for corporate strategy and technology policy.

Author: Yongrae Cho, Minsung Kim

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/


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