The growth rate "norm" for a Vitality plot is defined using all of the data in the Data Matrix. Sub-topics are defined by word or phrase searches in the Data Matrix and are shown on this plot a blue diamonds. If a sub-topic is growing faster than the norm, it appears in the red area on a Vitality Plot. If a topic is growing at or near the norm, it appears in the yellow area. If a sub-topic is growing more slowly than the norm, it appears in the blue area. The Y-axis on a Vitality Plot measures the size of the sub-topic. Larger sub-topic areas are plotted near the top of a Vitality Plot; smaller areas are near the bottom.
X-axis is a measure of acceleration
+1 is very rapid acceleration compared to the entire data base. Red area.
0 is exactly the acceleration expected based on the entire data base. Yellow area.
-1 is very significant deceleration compared to the entire database. Blue area.
Y-axis is a non-linear measure of the size of the search or IPC code group.
Watch a video about the construction of a Vitality Plot.
Technologically interesting sub-topics include product or technology features. This Vitality Plot is constructed from a Data Matrix containing patents about pizza crust. One blue diamond on the right deals with enzymes which are added to the dough to make it easier to roll out. The presence on the right suggests that this is an area where technology is advancing more quickly than for others.
Sometimes it is useful to divide the data in the Data Matrix into groups defined by other knowledge management systems. In one case, it is useful to use the IPC codes provided by the patent offices as a patent is being prosecuted. The acceleration or deceleration of an IPC code can provide a window to technology changes or unexpected topics. For example, one diamond (an IPC code not shown on this chart) in the pizza crust data deals with medical preparations. Digging deeper, the area reveals an interest in obesity.
In the full software system, clicking on a diamond or a triangle leads to the underlying data for the Vitality Plot.