Victoria University

Knowledge Diffusion and the Dynamics of Citation Accrual

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dc.contributor.advisor Governale, Michele
dc.contributor.advisor Zuelicke, Uli
dc.contributor.advisor Jaffe, Adam Higham, Kyle William 2020-02-28T02:52:46Z 2020-02-28T02:52:46Z 2019 2019
dc.description.abstract The diffusion of knowledge through society proceeds like an invisible ripple that moves between agents through multiple information channels. However, some types of knowledge are recorded, systematised and digitised for the benefit of everyone. Patents and academic articles are examples of such codified knowledge. These documents also contain a common element that is utilised for linking new and established knowledge: citations. This thesis harnesses citations in patents and scientific articles as proxies for signifying the existence of knowledge flows between cited and citing documents, focusing primarily on the dynamics of citation accumulation and the mechanisms governing these dynamics. For this purpose, it is helpful to think of patents and their citations as nodes and links, respectively, in a network where new nodes join the network and distribute their citations among existing nodes. This mode of thinking leads directly to the question: How does the citation network grow? This thesis addresses that question both empirically and theoretically. Two mechanisms that can explain much of the observed citation dynamics are preferential attachment and node ageing. The former mechanism reflects the tendency for successful nodes (by citation count) to become even more successful, while the latter captures the propensity for knowledge to become obsolete over time. The independence of these phenomena is nontrivial, but has generally been assumed. We put this assumption to the test for both patent and scientific-article citation networks and found it to be generally true if precautions are taken to account for important context surrounding the meaning of citations. Achieving a clear separation of these mechanisms is found to be very useful both mathematically and empirically, as they can now be studied independently. Patents are particularly sophisticated documents, with various components holding specific legal meanings. Associating certain properties of these components with popularity in the form of citation accrual creates a rare opportunity to build a framework that can identify ex-ante node fitnesses and examine their effect on the growth of a citation network. We find that a significant portion of the preferential-attachment process observed in the patent-citation network can be attributed to basic properties of patents determined by their time of grant. Besides suggesting novel approaches towards estimating patent quality, the results of our work also provide a platform for gaining a deeper understanding of the various mechanisms that underpin the success-breeds-success dynamics ubiquitously observed in complex systems. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Patent en_NZ
dc.subject Citations en_NZ
dc.subject Network en_NZ
dc.subject Dynamics en_NZ
dc.subject Knowledge en_NZ
dc.title Knowledge Diffusion and the Dynamics of Citation Accrual en_NZ
dc.type text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Chemical and Physical Sciences en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ Physics en_NZ Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Doctoral en_NZ Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ
dc.rights.license Creative Commons GNU GPL en_NZ
dc.rights.license Allow modifications, as long as others share alike en_NZ 2019-11-11T18:10:42Z
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 080705 Informetrics en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 140209 Industry Economics and Industrial Organisation en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 020304 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrctoa 1 PURE BASIC RESEARCH en_NZ

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