The Development and Progress of Engineering Economics: A Retrospect and Prospect Based on Visual Analysis


  • Yu Qian Business School, Sichuan University, China
  • Xunjie Gou Business School, Sichuan University, China
  • Zeshui Xu Business School, Sichuan University, China



Engineering Economics, Bibliometric Analysis, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Environment


Engineering economics is a cross subject with a wide range of applications, and it has taken on different characteristics with the changing times. The aim of this paper is to depict a sufficiently elaborate and vivid knowledge map of this field, with further discussion and outlook on the hotspots presented therein. Based on the principles and methods of bibliometrics, we use several visualization tools, mainly Vosviewer, to present the characteristics of the published literature within the field of engineering economics from multiple perspectives. Specifically, we collect 624 engineering economics documents published in the Web of Science core collection database between 1915 and 2021, and quantitatively analyze them in the following three aspects: (1) basic data characteristics, including annual publications, annual citations, research directions, and highly cited publications; (2) outstanding performers and cooperations in the four levels of country/region, institution, source and author, including co-authorship, bibliographic coupling, co-citation and co-occurrence analyses; and (3) keyword analyses, including co-occurrence analyses, burst detection analyses, and high-frequency word clouds. In addition, we further explore important topics within the field represented by intelligent and green transformation.

Author Biographies

Yu Qian, Business School, Sichuan University, China

Yu Qian received the B. S. degree from Chongqing Jiaotong University, China, in 2019. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree from Sichuan University. Her research interests include energy justice, supply chain, multi attribute decision-making, and data mining.

Xunjie Gou, Business School, Sichuan University, China

Xujie Gou received dual Ph.D. degrees in management science and engineering from Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, in 2019 and in information and communication technology from the University of Granada, Granada, Spain in 2019. He is currently an Associate Research Professor with the Business School, Sichuan University. He has published more than 50 peer reviewed papers, including IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, Knowledge-Based Systems, and Information Sciences. His current research interests include large-scale group decision making, double hierarchy linguistic term set, and computing with words.

Zeshui Xu, Business School, Sichuan University, China

Zeshui Xu received a Ph.D. degree in management science and engineering from Southeast University, China, in 2003. He has been selected as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher, included in The World’s Most Influential Minds from 2014 to 2018, and the Most Cited Chinese Researcher (ranked first in Computer Science from 2014 to 2018, released by Elsevier). His H-index is 114. He has contributed more than 550 articles to professional journals and Conferences. His research interests include information fusion, group decision-making, computing with words, and aggregation operators.

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