Self-Organizing Maps for Competitive Technical Intelligence Analysis

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This paper examines how the Self-Organizing Map (SOM) technique can be used to identify key competitors and determine key technical attributes of electronic products. A novel SOM display named Attribute Variance Matrix (AV-Matrix) was presented and applied to the background colors of the corresponding SOM nodes. The cell phone industry was selected as the example and a certain number of cell phones and their technical attribute data were collected and trained by the SOM algorithm. The cell phone SOM display was projected into the space constructed by the key technical attributes and the advantages and disadvantages of competitors were explored.