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Early identification of emerging technologies: A machine learning approach using multiple patent indicators

Changyong Lee, Ohjin Kwon, Myeongjung Kim and Daeil Kwon

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2018, vol. 127, issue C, 291-303

Abstract: Patent citation analysis is considered a useful tool for identifying emerging technologies. However, the outcomes of previous methods are likely to reveal no more than current key technologies, since they can only be performed at later stages of technology development due to the time required for patents to be cited (or fail to be cited). This study proposes a machine learning approach to identifying emerging technologies at early stages using multiple patent indicators that can be defined immediately after the relevant patents are issued. For this, first, a total of 18 input and 3 output indicators are extracted from the United States Patent and Trademark Office database. Second, a feed-forward multilayer neural network is employed to capture the complex nonlinear relationships between input and output indicators in a time period of interest. Finally, two quantitative indicators are developed to identify trends of a technology's emergingness over time. Based on this, we also provide the practical guidelines for implementation of the proposed approach. The case of pharmaceutical technology shows that our approach can facilitate responsive technology forecasting and planning.

Keywords: Technology forecasting; Emerging technologies; Early identification; Machine learning models; Multiple patent indicators (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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