Simulating Innovation
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Simulating Innovation

Computer-based Tools for Rethinking Innovation

Christopher Watts and Nigel Gilbert

Christopher Watts and Nigel Gilbert explore the generation, diffusion and impact of innovations, which can now be studied using computer simulations.
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Chapter 7: Technological evolution and innovation networks

Computer-based Tools for Rethinking Innovation

Christopher Watts and Nigel Gilbert


This chapter examines models of technology and our relationship to it. By technology here is meant the collection of individual technologies, practices and ideas. All of these are themselves the result of combinations of preceding technologies, and some of them may form part of future technologies. By our relationship to technology, we mean the ways in which technologies impact on social organisation, including what we do, who we do it with and where we do it, but also the ways in which social organisation impacts on technology, especially through the invention, development and diffusion of new technologies. While previous chapters have covered the diffusion (Chapters 2, 3 and 6), the generation (4, 5, 6) and the impact of innovation (3, 4, 5, 6), this chapter describes moves towards incorporating all three processes in single models.

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