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Early identification of important patents: Design and validation of citation network metrics


Mariani, Manuel Sebastian; Medo, Matúš; Lafond, François (2019). Early identification of important patents: Design and validation of citation network metrics. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 146:644-654.

Abstract

One of the most challenging problems in technological forecasting is to identify as early as possible those technologies that have the potential to lead to radical changes in our society. In this paper, we use the US patent citation network (1926–2010) to test our ability to early identify a list of expert-selected historically significant patents through citation network analysis. We show that in order to effectively uncover these patents shortly after they are issued, we need to go beyond raw citation counts and take into account both the citation network topology and temporal information. In particular, an age-normalized measure of patent centrality, called rescaled PageRank, allows us to identify the significant patents earlier than citation count and PageRank score. In addition, we find that while high-impact patents tend to rely on other high-impact patents in a similar way as scientific papers, the patents' citation dynamics is significantly slower than that of papers, which makes the early identification of significant patents more challenging than that of significant papers. In the context of technology management, our rescaled metrics can be useful to early detect recent trends in technical improvement, which is of fundamental interest for companies and investors.

Abstract

One of the most challenging problems in technological forecasting is to identify as early as possible those technologies that have the potential to lead to radical changes in our society. In this paper, we use the US patent citation network (1926–2010) to test our ability to early identify a list of expert-selected historically significant patents through citation network analysis. We show that in order to effectively uncover these patents shortly after they are issued, we need to go beyond raw citation counts and take into account both the citation network topology and temporal information. In particular, an age-normalized measure of patent centrality, called rescaled PageRank, allows us to identify the significant patents earlier than citation count and PageRank score. In addition, we find that while high-impact patents tend to rely on other high-impact patents in a similar way as scientific papers, the patents' citation dynamics is significantly slower than that of papers, which makes the early identification of significant patents more challenging than that of significant papers. In the context of technology management, our rescaled metrics can be useful to early detect recent trends in technical improvement, which is of fundamental interest for companies and investors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
08 Research Priority Programs > Social Networks
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Applied Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Management of Technology and Innovation
Language:English
Date:1 September 2019
Deposited On:28 Mar 2019 12:43
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 10:31
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0040-1625
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.01.036
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:16863

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