Evolution of an Open Source Community Network – An Exploratory Study
Saraf, N., Seary, A., Chandrasekaran, D., and Monge, P. 2013. "Evolution of an Open Source Community Network," in Advances in Network Analysis and its Applications, E. Kranakis (ed.).
32 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2012 Last revised: 4 Dec 2014
Date Written: February 14, 2013
The study attempts to better understand the evolution of the network structure using two snapshots of the developer-project affiliations in an Open Source Software (OSS) community. We use complex networks and social network theory to guide our analysis. We proceed by first extracting separate bipartite networks of projects in each of the five development stages – planning, pre-alpha, alpha, beta and production/stables stages. Then, by analyzing changes in the network using degree distributions, assortativity, component sizes, visualizations and p-star models, we try to infer the project-joining behavior of the OSS developers. Simulations are used to establish the significance of some findings. Highlights of our results are the higher levels of assortativity and networking in the Beta and Stable subnetworks, and a surprisingly higher level of connectivity of the Planning subnetwork. Significant clustering of projects is observed based on the programming language but not on other project attributes, including even license.
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