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Technological innovation and complexity theory

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  • Koen Frenken

Abstract

Complexity theory has become influential in recent models in social science. In the context of innovations and new technologies, most applications have focused on technology adoption and technology diffusion, whereas the topic of the innovation process has received less attention. This paper discusses three families of complexity models of technological innovation: fitness landscape models, network models and percolation models. The models are capable of analysing complex interaction structures (between components of technologies, between agents engaged in collective invention) while avoiding 'over-parameterisation'. The paper ends with discussing the methodological challenges and critiques regarding the application of complexity theory that remain.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 137-155

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:15:y:2006:i:2:p:137-155

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Related research

Keywords: Innovation; Complexity; Fitness landscape; NK-model; Percolation; Complex networks;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Floris J. Huétink & Alexander van der Vooren & Floortje Alkemade, 2009. "Initial infrastructure development strategies for the transition to sustainable mobility," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies 09-05, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Mar 2009.
  2. Horst Hanusch & Andreas Pyka, 2007. "Principles of Neo-Schumpeterian Economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 275-289, March.
  3. Faggini, Marisa & Parziale, Anna, 2011. "Fitness landscape and tax planning: NK model for fiscal federalism," MPRA Paper 33770, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Blom, Martin & Castellacci, Fulvio & Fevolden, Arne, 2012. "Defence firms facing liberalization: innovation and export in an agent-based model of the defence industry," MPRA Paper 35702, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Albert Faber & Koen Frenken, 2008. "Models in evolutionary economics and environmental policy: Towards an evolutionary environmental economics," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies 08-15, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2008.
  6. Bin-Tzong Chie & Shu-Heng Chen, 2014. "Competition in a New Industrial Economy: Toward an Agent-Based Economic Model of Modularity," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 192-218, July.
  7. Cristiano, Antonelli, 2010. "The economic complexity of technology and innovation. A review article of The nature of technology. What it is and how it evolves, by Arthur, W.B. Free Press, New York, pp.1-247"," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201003, University of Turin.
  8. Antonelli Cristiano & Scellato Giuseppe, 2011. "Complexity and Technological Change: Knowledge Interactions and Firm Level Total Factor Productivity," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201102, University of Turin.
  9. Elvira Uyarra, 2011. "Regional innovation systems revisited: networks, institutions, policy and complexity," Openloc Working Papers, Public policies and local development 1113, Public policies and local development.
  10. Patrucco, Pier Paolo, 2008. "Complexity and Organizational Change in the Coordination of Technological Knowledge: Evidence from the Automobile Cluster in Turin," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200808, University of Turin.
  11. Safarzyńska, Karolina & Brouwer, Roy & Hofkes, Marjan, 2013. "Evolutionary modelling of the macro-economic impacts of catastrophic flood events," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 108-118.
  12. Sylvie Geisendorf, 2010. "Searching NK Fitness Landscapes: On the Trade Off Between Speed and Quality in Complex Problem Solving," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 35(4), pages 395-406, April.

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