Knowledge Flows Within Open Source Software Projects: A Social Network Perspective

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 397)

Abstract

Developing software is knowledge-intensive activity, requiring extensive technical knowledge and awareness. The abstract part of development is the social interactions that drive knowledge flows between contributors, especially for Open Source Software (OSS). This study investigated knowledge sharing and propagation from social perspective using social network analysis (SNA). We mined and analyzed the issue and review histories of three OSS from GitHub. Particular attention has been paid to the socio-interactions through comments from contributors on reviews. We aim at explaining the propagation and density of knowledge flows within contributor networks. The results show that review requests flow from the core contributors toward peripheral contributors and comments on reviews are in a continuous loop from the core teams to the peripherals and back; and the core contributors leverage on their awareness and technical knowledge to increase their notoriety by playing the role of communication brokers supported by comments on work items.

Keywords

Knowledge flows Expertise SNA Open source 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Higher School for Computer Science and System Analysis (ENSIAS)RabatMorocco

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