Evolution of an Open Source Community Network

  • Nilesh Saraf
  • Andrew Seary
  • Deepa Chandrasekaran
  • Peter Monge
Part of the Mathematics in Industry book series (MATHINDUSTRY, volume 18)


The study attempts to better understand the evolution of the structure of a network using two snapshots of the developer-project affiliations in an Open Source Software (OSS) community. We use complex networks and social network theory to guide our analysis. We proceed by first extracting separate bipartite networks of projects in each of the five development stages – planning, pre-alpha, alpha, beta and production/stables stages. Then, by analyzing changes in the network using degree distributions, assortativity, component sizes, visualizations and p-star models, we try to infer the project-joining behavior of the OSS developers. Simulations are used to establish the significance of some findings. Highlights of our results are the higher levels of assortativity and networking in the Beta and Stable subnetworks, and a surprisingly higher level of connectivity of the Planning subnetwork. Significant clustering of projects is observed based on the programming language but not on other project attributes, including even licenses.


Random Graph Degree Distribution Open Source Software Preferential Attachment Component Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant number 410-2007-1579) and the SFU Discovery Grants program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nilesh Saraf
    • 1
  • Andrew Seary
    • 2
  • Deepa Chandrasekaran
    • 3
  • Peter Monge
    • 4
  1. 1.Beedie School of BusinessSimon Fraser University WMC 3317BurnabyCanada
  2. 2.School of CommunicationSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.College of Business and EconomicsLehigh University RBC 370, Rauch Business CenterBethlehemUSA
  4. 4.Communication, Annenberg School for Communication and Professor, Management and Organization, Marshall School of BusinessUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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