The act of changing a product by substituting technologies remains a challenging problem for companies with incumbent and dominant designs. This paper describes a new method to quantify the degree of this change based on the graph edit distance of functional models of products. The knowledge structure of a product is represented by its functional model using the ontology of the functional basis. Its knowledge structure is then compared to an equivalent small-world graph, widely regarded as the most efficient structure for information sharing. Finally, the graph edit distance between a product model and its equivalent small-world graph is calculated. This paper demonstrates a general purpose manner to study design innovation through technological transformation.

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