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Working paper

Technology Classification for the Purposes of Future Studies

Kuzminov I., Meissner D., Lavrynenko A. S., E. Tochilina.
The paper analyses problems associated with technologies classification for the purposes of futures studies, in order to ensure definitive inclusion of technologies in specific classes/types when conventional approaches to classification are applied. The evolution of classification approaches in the scope of science philosophy is shortly reviewed, together with the latest research on expert-based and computerised (algorithmic) classification and methodological dilemmas related to hierarchical aggregation of technological and production processes are analysed. Common problems with classifying technologies and industries frequently encountered in the age of converging technologies are examined, using the agricultural sector and related industries as an example. A case study of computerised classification of agricultural technologies based on clustering algorithms is presented, with a brief analysis of the potential and limitations of the methodology. For doing so a two-stage approach to classifying technologies is suggested, based on distinguishing between platform (multipurpose) and industry-specific technologies. An adaptive approach to analysing technological structures is proposed, based on many-to-many relationships and fuzzy logic principles.