The following time lapse movie depicts the growth of a government laboratory’s innovation network from the time frame of 1963 to 2010. The innovation network is comprised of 705 lab employees who filed 685 patents during that time. Each node in the network represents an employee and a link between any two nodes represents one or more inventions in which they were co-inventors.
As the time lapse progresses small groups form and come together into larger ones. Each group of inventors has been assigned a color and shape which corresponds to the innovation networks end state in 2010. As groups grow the size of specific nodes changes over time, this is because an inventor’s network properties change as their relative connectedness to others changes over time. As inventors make new connections that put them on the shortest path to others their betweeness centrality increases which is shown by increasing node size.
At the 25 second mark we begin to see the group of blue circles grow and eventually become the laboratory’s largest connected component. As this component progresses in size, individuals on the shortest path begin to grow in node diameter. When new bridging links form the individuals with high network position shift and change to become the new innovation backbone.