Research aspects

When extracting results from the huge amounts of data available today, two directions can be distinguished in the form of the deductive approach (top-down) and the inductive approach (bottom-up).

The deductive method works on a generic level and examines trends as well as market and technology developments, e.g., to detect early signals relevant to a company’s core business and apply them as part of the foresight process. The results can be stored in a database for further processing or as a basis for subsequent research.

In contrast to the deductive method, the inductive method works on the basis of technology databases, which is structured on a much more granular level. This makes it possible to search the existing knowledge base very specifically for technological /applications and solutions that offer potential solutions to generic problems.

However, building the granular knowledge is a laborious process that, while valuable for guiding the enterprise, is often avoided for reasons of expense. Here, innovative methods such as AI methods could help to reduce the effort through semi-automated search, filling and updating.

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It would be ideal if it were possible to link inductive and deductive methods in such a way that significant progress can be achieved compared to the methods used individually.