Social networks in Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) have been usually analyzed at the level of the single project e.g., [6], or at the level of a whole ecology of projects, e.g., [33]. In this paper, we also in- vestigate the social network generated by developers who collaborate to one or multiple F/OSS projects, but we focus on the less-studied meso- level structure emerging when applying to this network a community- detection technique. The network of ‘communities’ emerging from this analysis links sub-groups of densely connected developers, sub-groups that are smaller than the components of the network but larger than the teams working on single projects. Our results reveal the complexity of this meso-level structure, where several dense sub-groups of develop- ers are connected by sparse collaboration among different sub-groups. We discuss the theoretical implications of our findings with reference to the wider literature on collaboration networks and potential for inno- vation. We argue that the observed empirical meso-structure in F/OSS collaboration network resembles that associated to the highest levels of innovativeness.

The Meso-level Structure of F/OSS Collaboration Network: Local Communities and Their Innovativeness

F. RULLANI
2010

Abstract

Social networks in Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) have been usually analyzed at the level of the single project e.g., [6], or at the level of a whole ecology of projects, e.g., [33]. In this paper, we also in- vestigate the social network generated by developers who collaborate to one or multiple F/OSS projects, but we focus on the less-studied meso- level structure emerging when applying to this network a community- detection technique. The network of ‘communities’ emerging from this analysis links sub-groups of densely connected developers, sub-groups that are smaller than the components of the network but larger than the teams working on single projects. Our results reveal the complexity of this meso-level structure, where several dense sub-groups of develop- ers are connected by sparse collaboration among different sub-groups. We discuss the theoretical implications of our findings with reference to the wider literature on collaboration networks and potential for inno- vation. We argue that the observed empirical meso-structure in F/OSS collaboration network resembles that associated to the highest levels of innovativeness.
Open Source Software: New Horizons: 6th International IFIP WG 2.13 Conference on Open Source Systems, OSS 2010, Notre Dame, IN, USA, May 30 – June 2, 2010. Proceedings
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3724662
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