Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1131-1143 (2014)

Mark Bedau
Reed College
The robust behavior of the patent citation network is a complex target of recent bottom-up models in science. This paper investigates the purpose and testing of three especially simple bottom-up models of the citation count distribution observed in the patent citation network. The complex causal webs in the models generate weakly emergent patterns of behavior, and this explains both the need for empirical observation of computer simulations of the models and the epistemic harmlessness of the resulting epistemic opacity
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DOI 10.1086/677700
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