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IEEE Access



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The academia and industry have been pursuing network-on-chip (NoC) related research since two decades ago when there was an urgency to respond to the scaling and technological challenges imposed on intra-chip communication in SoC designs. Like any other research topic, NoC inevitably goes through its life cycle: A. it started up (2000-2007) and quickly gained traction in its own right; B. it then entered the phase of growth and shakeout (2008-2013) with the research outcomes peaked in 2010 and remained high for another four/five years; C. NoC research was considered mature and stable (2014-2020), with signs showing a steady slowdown. Although from time to time, excellent survey articles on different subjects/aspects of NoC appeared in the open literature, yet there is no general consensus on where we are in this NoC roadmap and where we are heading, largely due to lack of an overarching methodology and tool to assess and quantify the research outcomes and evolution. In this paper, we address this issue from the perspective of three specific complex networks, namely the citation network, the subject citation network, and the co-authorship network. The network structure parameters (e.g., modularity, diameter, etc.) and graph dynamics of the three networks are extracted and analyzed, which helps reveal and explain the reasons and the driving forces behind all the changes observed in NoC research over 20 years. Additional analyses are performed in this study to link interesting phenomena surrounding the NoC area. They include: (1) relationships between communities in citation networks and NoC subjects, (2) measure and visualization of a subject's influence score and its evolution, (3) knowledge flow among the six most popular NoC subjects and their relationships, (4) evolution of various subjects in terms of number of publications, (5) collaboration patterns and cross-community collaboration among the authors in NoC research, (6) interesting observation of career lifetime and productivity among NoC researchers, and finally (7) investigation of whether or not new authors are chasing hot subjects in NoC. All these analyses have led to a prediction of publications, subjects, and co-authorship in NoC research in the near future, which is also presented in the paper.


Complex network; Networks-on-chip; Science of science


Industrial Technology | Technology and Innovation

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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