Correlating temporal communication patterns of the Eclipse open source community with performance and creativity

  • Yared H. Kidane
  • Peter A. GloorEmail author


This paper studies the temporal communication patterns of online communities of developers and users of the open source Eclipse Java development environment. It measures the productivity of each community and seeks to identify correlations that exist between group communication characteristics and productivity attributes. The study uses the TeCFlow (Temporal Communication Flow) visualizer to create movie maps of the knowledge flow by analyzing the publicly accessible Eclipse developer mailing lists as an approximation of the social networks of developers and users. Thirty-three different Eclipse communities discussing development and use of components of Eclipse such as the Java Development Tools, the different platform components, the C/C++ Development Tools and the AspectJ extension have been analyzed over a period of six months. The temporal evolution of social network variables such as betweenness centrality, density, contribution index, and degree have been computed and plotted. Productivity of each development group is measured in terms of two indices, namely performance and creativity. Performance of a group is defined as the ratio of new bugs submitted compared with bugs fixed within the same period of time. Creativity is calculated as a function of new features proposed and implemented. Preliminary results indicate that there is a correlation between attributes of social networks such as density and betweenness centrality and group productivity measures in an open source development community. We also find a positive correlation between changes over time in betweenness centrality and creativity, and a negative correlation between changes in betweenness centrality and performance.


Temporal social network analysis Open source Eclipse TeCFlow Creativity Performance Virtual community Temporal social surface 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Coordination ScienceMIT Sloan School of ManagementCambridgeUSA

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