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

Guido Conald, Francesco Rullani

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    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 investigate 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 developers 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 innovation. We argue that the observed empirical meso-structure in F/OSS collaboration network resembles that associated to the highest levels of innovativeness.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOpen 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
    EditorsPär Ågerfalk, Cornelia Boldyreff, Jesús M. González-Barahona, Gregory R. Madey, John Noll
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
    Publication date2010
    ISBN (Print)364213243X, 9783642132438
    ISBN (Electronic) 9783642132445
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event6th International IFIP WG 2.13 Conference on Open Source Systems. OSS 2010: Open Source Software: New Horizons - Notre Dame, United States
    Duration: 30 May 20102 Jun 2010
    Conference number: 6


    Conference6th International IFIP WG 2.13 Conference on Open Source Systems. OSS 2010
    CountryUnited States
    CityNotre Dame
    SeriesIFIP AICT - Advances in Information and Communication technology

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