Evaluating Longitudinal Success of Open Source Software Projects: A Social Network Perspective

TitleEvaluating Longitudinal Success of Open Source Software Projects: A Social Network Perspective
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWu, Jing, and Goh Khim Yong
Secondary Title2009 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2009)
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Place PublishedLos Alamitos, CA, USA
ISBN Number978-0-7695-3450-3
Keywordsbug tracking system, communication, project success, social network analysis, sourceforge

To date, numerous open source projects are hosted on many online repositories. While some of these projects are active and thriving, some projects are either languishing or showing no development activities at all. This phenomenon thus begs the important question of what are the influential factors that affect the success of open source projects. In a quest to deepen our understanding of the evolution of open source projects, this research aims to analyze the success of open source projects by using the theoretical lens of social network analysis. Based on extensive analyses of data collected from online repositories, we study the impact of the communication patterns of software development teams on the demand and supply outcomes of these projects, while accounting for project-specific characteristics. Using panel data analysis of data over 13 months, we find significant impacts of communication patterns on project outcomes over the long term.


"We collect data of various OSS projects over an extended period of 13 months and utilize cross-sectional time-series panel data analysis methods..."
"we observe and analyze the developers' interactions through bug, patch, support request, and feature request (BPSF) tracking systems hosted on SourceForge.net"
"Three criteria are adopted to select useful projects: projects are selected from top 7000 ranked projects; projects have at least three developers; and there are enough interactions to ensure that each sociomatrix is equal to or larger than 3×3 matrix..."

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