An Activity-product Affiliation Network Approach to Study Product Convergence Opportunities


A vast majority of new products in the consumer electronics market are marked by improvements to contemporary products. It is reported that companies spend billions of dollars on product convergence projects in an effort to combine existing products. in this paper, a systematic methodology to explore new product convergence opportunities is presented. the methodology consists of the following major steps: (1) Create an activity-product affiliation network and then extract the product network in which products are related to each other by virtue of being affiliated to the same activity. (2) Explore the product network to determine the aristocrat products (based on the degree of product connectivity) and products that are affiliated to two or more activities (called bridge products). (3) Scrutinize and retain products that are both aristocrats and bridge products (called critical bridge products) based on their market potential and network stability. (4) Investigate convergence opportunities for these critical bridge products using the Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) model and local centrality method. the application of the proposed method is demonstrated using an example case that consists of 16 activities and 232 different consumer products.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Activity-Product Affiliation; Product Convergence Opportunities; Social Networks

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Article - Journal

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