Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 151, Issue 3, pp 414–439

Value Production in a Collaborative Environment

Sociophysical Studies of Wikipedia

DOI: 10.1007/s10955-013-0728-6

Cite this article as:
Yasseri, T. & Kertész, J. J Stat Phys (2013) 151: 414. doi:10.1007/s10955-013-0728-6


We review some recent endeavors and add some new results to characterize and understand underlying mechanisms in Wikipedia (WP), the paradigmatic example of collaborative value production. We analyzed the statistics of editorial activity in different languages and observed typical circadian and weekly patterns, which enabled us to estimate the geographical origins of contributions to WPs in languages spoken in several time zones. Using a recently introduced measure we showed that the editorial activities have intrinsic dependencies in the burstiness of events. A comparison of the English and Simple English WPs revealed important aspects of language complexity and showed how peer cooperation solved the task of enhancing readability. One of our focus issues was characterizing the conflicts or edit wars in WPs, which helped us to automatically filter out controversial pages. When studying the temporal evolution of the controversiality of such pages we identified typical patterns and classified conflicts accordingly. Our quantitative analysis provides the basis of modeling conflicts and their resolution in collaborative environments and contribute to the understanding of this issue, which becomes increasingly important with the development of information communication technology.


Peer-production User-generated content Wikipedia Social dynamics Burstiness Human dynamics Conflict Language complexity Opinion dynamics 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theoretical PhysicsBudapest University of Technology and EconomicsBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Oxford Internet InstituteUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Center for Network ScienceCentral European UniversityBudapestHungary

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