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Forecasting technology diffusion with the Richards model

Authors
Journal
Technological Forecasting and Social Change
0040-1625
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
79
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2011.02.010
Keywords
  • Technology Diffusion
  • Technology Forecasting
  • S-Shaped Curve
  • Sigmoid Curve
  • Growth Curve
  • Richards Model

Abstract

Abstract The Richards model has a shape parameter m that allows it to fit any sigmoidal curve. This article demonstrates the ability of a modified Richards model to fit a variety of technology diffusion curvilinear data that would otherwise be fit by Bass, Gompertz, Logistic, and other models. The performance of the Richards model in forecasting was examined by analyzing fragments of data computed from the model itself, where the fragments simulated either an entire diffusion curve but with sparse data points, or only the initial trajectory of a diffusion curve but with dense data points. It was determined that accurate parameter estimates could be obtained when the data was sparse but traced out the curve at least up to the third inflection point (concave down), and when the data was dense and traced out the curve up to the first inflection point (concave up). Rogers' Innovation I, II and III are discussed in the context of the Richards model. Since m is scale independent, the model allows for a typology of diffusion curves and may provide an alternative to Rogers' typology.

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