Authors:Sungchul Choi, Janghyeok Yoon, Kwangsoo Kim, Jae Yeol Lee, and Cheol-Han Kim
This paper suggests a method for Subject–Action–Object (SAO) network analysis of patents for technology trends identification by using the concept of function. The proposed method solves the shortcoming of the keyword-based approach to identification of technology trends, i.e., that it cannot represent how technologies are used or for what purpose. The concept of function provides information on how a technology is used and how it interacts with other technologies; the keyword-based approach does not provide such information. The proposed method uses an SAO model and represents “key concept” instead of “key word”. We present a procedure that formulates an SAO network by using SAO models extracted from patent documents, and a method that applies actor network theory to analyze technology implications of the SAO network. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the SAO network this paper presents a case study of patents related to Polymer Electrolyte Membrane technology in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.