Structural decomposition of technological domain using patent co-classification and classification hierarchy

  • Changbae Mun
  • Sejun Yoon
  • Hyunseok ParkEmail author


This paper proposes a new method for decomposing a technological domain (TD). Specifically, the method identifies sub-TDs at the different levels of technological hierarchy within the TD based on the characteristics of patent co-classification and classification hierarchy. We defined the smallest class, named Minimum Overlapped Class (MOC), constructed by overlaps of sub-group IPC(s) and sub-class UPC(s), and sub-TD is basically identified as a set of the MOCs. In order to cluster the MOCs, technological distances among MOCs are calculated based on patent co-classification and hierarchical structure of patent classification systems. Technologically similar MOCs are grouped by using a hierarchical clustering and the identified clusters at the different level of hierarchy show the hierarchical structure of a TD. Detailed technological content for each sub-TD is represented by extracting representative keywords through a text-mining technique. The method is empirically tested by the solar photovoltaic technology and the results show that the identified sub-TDs are reasonably acceptable by qualitative analysis.


Classification overlap method (COM) Patent co-classification Classification hierarchy Sub-technologies Sub-domain Hierarchical class similarity 



This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (No. 2017R1A2B4012431).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information SystemsHanyang UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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