An integrated approach for detecting and quantifying the topic evolutions of patent technology: a case study on graphene field

Abstract

Comprehensive, in-depth and accurate analyses of patent technology topic evolutions become increasingly significant since the analytical results can offer related personnel the scientific support to explore or trace back to the origin and the development of the technology. However, existing methods of topic evolutions do not facilitate better understanding of how a technology topic has evolved. This paper introduces an integrated method with the LDA topic identification analysis, the improved topic life cycle analysis, and the improved technology entropy analysis for identifying, measuring and interpreting topics evolutions from patent literatures. Multiple indicators we proposed and improved have been used to measure the degree of topic development and identify the topic types of different states. And, the concept of technology entropy has been redefined and improved to measure the changes of evolution intensity and evolution direction among topics, mainly used the topic word and its probability. The results from different methods are mutually connected and complemented. The process and characteristics of topic evolution are further overviewed. Graphene is selected for the case study. The mechanism of evolution and the effect of improved methods are focused on. The research has clearly shown that more accurate and comprehensive results can be achieved for topic evolution by employing this integrated method. Furthermore, the above integration of methods has potential contributions to hot spot detection and potential technology discovery.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.16BTQ029).

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Correspondence to Hong Wu.

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Wu, H., Yi, H. & Li, C. An integrated approach for detecting and quantifying the topic evolutions of patent technology: a case study on graphene field. Scientometrics 126, 6301–6321 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-04000-2

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Keywords

  • Topic evolution of patent technology
  • Topic life cycle
  • Technology entropy
  • Topic model