Visualizing technological inventions using text mining

This post describes how to use text mining to visualize technological inventions.

This post describes how to use text mining to visualize technological inventions.

The basis for visualizing technological inventionsis to visualize the invention’s functions. Functions are sentences that follow this format: Action-Object (SAO). The action is a verb and describes what the technology does. The object describes to what this action is applied to, i. e. to what the technology does what it does.

Examples for Action-Object-structures of Artificial Intelligence:

  • analyze audio files
  • monitor activities
  • improve image

A great way to visualize these Action-Object-structures is a network graph. This network graph shows which actions apply to which objects.

The network graph for Artificial intelligence below shows

Action-Object-structures for artificial intelligence
Action-Object-structures for artificial intelligence



Those Action-Object-structures were generated with Researchly, the app I am working on. You can check it out here.



Visualize technological strengths, properties, and components of technological inventions using a Technology Radar

Another way to visualize functions is a Technology Radar. A Technology Radar visualizes the technology’s strength in each function. The wider out the points in the radar, the better the technology can accomplish that function.

The technology radar for watches below shows that a watch is great at “setting the time” but less so at “producing optical signals”.

Technology Radar for electronic watches
Technology Radar for electronic watches

Asides from functions, a Technology Radar can also be used to visualize an invention’s properties and components.

The Technology Radars below show the properties and components for footwear.

Technology Radar showing footwear properties
Technology Radar showing footwear properties
Technology Radar showing footwear components
Technology Radar showing footwear components



These Technology Radars were also generated with Researchly. You can use the Technology Radar for free here.



The technology radar only shows the current state of the technological invention. If the temporal dimension is added, one can identify trends within a technological invention.

A common way to visualize this is a “Portfolio Map” with two axes:

  • Absolute size: the amount of activity for one function (based on patents, scientific papers, news articles, etc.)
  • Rate of increase: how the activity for the function has changed in the last two years

Based on these two axes, the functions can be split into emerging, core, declining and established functions. The image below shows such a Portfolio Map for Artificial Intelligence.

A portfolio map for artificial intelligence
A portfolio map for artificial intelligence

Visualize relationships between technological inventions

Finally, the last way to visualize technological inventions is to depict the relationships between them. The graph below shows the relationships between Virtual Reality and inventions that Virtual Reality needs.

Relationships between Virtual Reality and realted technological inventions
Relationships between Virtual Reality and realted technological inventions



Again, go to Researchly if you want to see these relationships for other inventions.




At Researchly we are building tools that help companies do such analysis. If you want to try them yourself (they are free), head over to Researchly

Photo by https://undraw.co/