Discovering a Regularity: the Case of An 800-year Law of Advances in Small-Arms Technologies

by   Alexander Kott, et al.

Considering a broad family of technologies where a measure of performance (MoP) is difficult or impossible to formulate, we seek an alternative measure that exhibits a regular pattern of evolution over time, similar to how a MoP may follow a Moore's law. In an empirical case study, we explore an approach to identifying such a composite measure called a Figure of Regularity (FoR). We use the proposed approach to identify a novel FoR for diverse classes of small arms - bows, crossbows, harquebuses, muskets, rifles, repeaters, and assault rifles - and show that this FoR agrees well with the empirical data. We identify a previously unreported regular trend in the FoR of an exceptionally long duration - from approximately 1200 CE to the present - and discuss how research managers can analyze long-term trends in conjunction with a portfolio of research directions.



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