Ex-ante measure of patent quality reveals intrinsic fitness for citation-network growth

02/14/2019
by   K. W. Higham, et al.
Victoria University of Wellington
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We have constructed a fitness parameter, characterizing the intrinsic attractiveness for patents to be cited, from attributes of the associated inventions known at the time a patent is granted. This exogenously obtained fitness is shown to determine the temporal growth of the citation network in conjunction with mechanisms of preferential attachment and obsolescence-induced ageing that operate without reference to characteristics of individual patents. Our study opens a window on understanding quantitatively the interplay of the rich-gets-richer and fit-gets-richer paradigms that have been suggested to govern the growth dynamics of real-world complex networks.

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