A Topological Analysis of the Open Souce Software Development Community

TitleA Topological Analysis of the Open Souce Software Development Community
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsXu, J, Gao, Y, Christley, S, Madey, G
Secondary TitleProceedings of the 38th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Place PublishedBig Island, HI, USA
Keywordscontributors, developers, roles, social network analysis, social networks, sourceforge, srda, users

The fast growth of OSS has increased the interest in studying the composition of the OSS community and its collaboration mechanisms. Moreover, the success of a project may be related to the underlying social structure of the OSS development community. In this paper, we perform a quantitative analysis of Open Source Software developers by studying the entire development community at SourceForge [26]. Statistics and social network properties are explored to find collaborations and the effects of different members in the OSS development community. Small world phenomenon and scale free behaviors are found in the SourceForge development network. These topological properties may potentially explain the success and efficiency of OSS development practices. We also infer from our analysis that weakly associated but contributing co-developers and active users may be an important factor in OSS development.


"We extracted data from a 2003 data dump obtained from SourceForge. "

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