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Exploring knowledge flow within a technology domain by conducting a dynamic analysis of a patent co-citation network

Vladimir Smojver (Center for Vehicles of Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia and the Department of Design, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Mario Štorga (Department of Design, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia and the Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden)
Goran Zovak (Department of Traffic Accident Expertise, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 17 June 2020

Issue publication date: 8 March 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a methodology by which future knowledge flow can be predicted by predicting co-citations of patents within a technology domain using a link prediction algorithm applied to a co-citation network.

Design/methodology/approach

Several methods and approaches are used: a dynamic analysis of a patent citation network to identify technology life cycle phases, patent co-citation network mapping from the patent citation network and the application of link prediction algorithms to the patent co-citation network.

Findings

The results of the presented study indicate that future knowledge flow within a technology domain can be predicted by predicting patent co-citations using the preferential attachment link prediction algorithm. Furthermore, they indicate that the patent – co-citations occurring between the end of the growth life cycle phase and the start of the maturation life cycle phase contribute the most to the precision of the knowledge flow prediction. Finally, it is demonstrated that most of the predicted knowledge flow occurs in a time period closely following the application of the link – prediction algorithm.

Practical implications

By having insight into future potential co-citations of patents, a firm can leverage its existing patent portfolio or asses the acquisition value of patents or the companies owning them.

Originality/value

It is demonstrated that the flow of knowledge in patent co-citation networks follows a rich get richer intuition. Moreover, it is show that the knowledge contained in younger patents has a greater chance of being cited again. Finally, it is demonstrated that these co-citations can be predicted in the short term when the preferential attachment algorithm is applied to a patent co-citation network.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper reports work funded by the Croatian Science Foundation Team Adaptability for Innovation-Oriented Product Development (TAIDE) project (www.taide.org) and the Center for Vehicles of Croatia (CVH).

Citation

Smojver, V., Štorga, M. and Zovak, G. (2021), "Exploring knowledge flow within a technology domain by conducting a dynamic analysis of a patent co-citation network", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 433-453. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-01-2020-0079

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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