prediction market A market created for the purpose of making predictions on future events (e.g., presidential elections).

roadmapping A time-honored technique for forecasting technological advances. It is most useful for forecasting raw technical capabilities, not for forecasting the applications enabled by technologies.

scenario See also vision. An imagined or projected sequence of events. Scenarios can be used as tools for understanding the complex interaction of forces that influence future events.

signal A piece of data, a sign, or an event that is relevant to the identification of a potentially disruptive technology: for example, Apple, Inc., placing a large order for new touch capacitance screens from a Chinese supplier.

signpost A recognizable and actionable potential future event that could indicate an upcoming disruption. “Recognizable” means that reasonable people would agree on whether the event has happened. “Actionable” means that the event is sufficiently important to require an organizational decision and response.

technology forecasting system Technologies, people, and processes assembled to minimize surprise triggered by emerging or disruptive technologies, in order to support decision making.

tipping point The time at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable.

trend extrapolation A forecasting method in which data sets are analyzed to identify trends that can provide predictive capability.

viral Pertaining to the rapid spread or distribution of an idea from one to many.

vision A forecast of a potential future state of reality described in a vague way: for example, passenger vehicles powered primarily by energy sources other than the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine. See also scenario.

Web crawling or spidering A process in which a computer program methodically searches the Internet for specific types of data.

Web scraping A computer software technique of extracting information from Web sites.4

wiki A community-accessible Web site with a user-friendly graphic user interface that can be used for collaborative work on documents.


For more information, see Last accessed January 28, 2010.

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