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Network-Based Analysis of the Structure and Evolution of an Open Source Software Product

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2 Author(s)
Qize Le ; Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA, USA ; Panchal, J.H.

In this paper, an analysis of product structures in open source software (OSS) at both product level and module level is presented. At the product level, the product structures are modeled as complex networks, and the evolutionary characteristics of product structures are analyzed by using network analysis metrics. At the module level, linking mechanisms, which describe how a module is attached with other modules, are proposed. The linking mechanisms are modeled as probability functions dependent on the degrees of linking modules. A case study from an open source software project, Drupal, is presented. The evolutionary trends of Drupal product structures are analyzed and discussed. Finally, a model is presented to illustrate the effects of linking mechanisms at the module level on the product structures at the system level. The results indicate that the model built using the proposed linking mechanisms generates networks whose evolutionary characteristics are close to that of the original network.

Published in:

System Science (HICSS), 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Jan. 2012