Data-driven dynamic network modeling for analyzing the evolution of product competitions

Jian Xie, Youyi Bi, Zhenghui Sha, Mingxian Wang, Yan Fu, Noshir Contractor, Lin Gong, Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Understanding the impact of engineering design on product competitions is imperative for product designers to better address customer needs and develop more competitive products. In this paper, we propose a dynamic network-based approach for modeling and analyzing the evolution of product competitions using multi-year buyer survey data. The product co-consideration network, formed based on the likelihood of two products being co-considered from survey data, is treated as a proxy of products' competition relations in a market. The separate temporal exponential random graph model (STERGM) is employed as the dynamic network modeling technique to model the evolution of network as two separate processes: link formation and link dissolution. We use China's automotive market as a case study to illustrate the implementation of the proposed approach and the benefits of dynamic network models compared to the static network modeling approach based on an exponential random graph model (ERGM). The results show that since STERGM takes preexisting competition relations into account, it provides a pathway to gain insights into why a product may maintain or lose its competitiveness over time. These driving factors include both product attributes (e.g., fuel consumption) as well as current market structures (e.g., the centralization effect). With the proposed dynamic network-based approach, the insights gained from this paper can help designers better interpret the temporal changes of product competition relations to support product design decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031112
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Design for market systems
  • Dynamic network analysis
  • ERGM
  • Engineering design
  • Product competition
  • User-centered design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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