Analysing the 'Biodiversity' of Open Source Ecosystems: The GitHub Case

TitleAnalysing the 'Biodiversity' of Open Source Ecosystems: The GitHub Case
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMatragkas, Nicholas, Williams James R., Kolovos Dimitris S., and Paige Richard F.
Secondary TitleProceedings of the 11th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories
Place PublishedNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-2863-0
KeywordsData and knowledge visualization, data mining, mining challenge, msr challenge

In nature the diversity of species and genes in ecological communities affects the functioning of these communities. Biologists have found out that more diverse communities appear to be more productive than less diverse communities. Moreover such communities appear to be more stable in the face of perturbations. In this paper, we draw the analogy between ecological communities and Open Source Software (OSS) ecosystems, and we investigate the diversity and structure of OSS communities. To address this question we use the MSR 2014 challenge dataset, which includes data from the top-10 software projects for the top programming languages on GitHub. Our findings show that OSS communities on GitHub consist of 3 types of users (core developers, active users, passive users). Moreover, we show that the percentage of core developers and active users does not change as the project grows and that the majority of members of large projects are passive users.