A system dynamics approach to technology interaction: From asymptotic to cyclic behaviour

L. Pretorius, J. H.C. Pretorius, S. J. Benade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is an extension and elaboration of previous research on the simulation of three competing technologies that interact. A modified version of the three-technology system is investigated, and some initial system dynamics results are reported illustrating the progression from asymptotic to cyclic behaviour. Technology is considered in this research as a result of innovation, a rate-dependent process that may include several non-linearities due to interaction with the environment and social context. Using bibliometrics as a research data source is an interesting way to trace technology growth patterns very effectively. In this research, the existence of cyclic behaviour in two real life technologies is illustrated using bibliometrics. In this paper, a technology system consisting of three interacting technologies is treated and modelled in a coupled manner where the interacting dynamics is described by the Lotka-Volterra system of differential equations. The effect of interaction between the technologies and the period of cyclic behaviour is illustrated parametrically. Furthermore, the possible uncertain diffusion as well as interaction effect for two of the technologies is also addressed in this research using a Monte Carlo multivariate simulation technique and a system dynamics approach. The research method is exploratory and case based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-240
Number of pages18
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Cyclic behaviour
  • Modelling
  • Simulation
  • System dynamics
  • Technology system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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