Skip to Content

Complex Systems Seminar<br>Open Source Software As a Complex Network<br><b>Speaker: Frank Schweitzer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland</br></b>

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
12:00 AM
340 West Hall

Speaker: Frank Schweitzer (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Open source software (OSS) can be seen as a evolving complex network. On the structural level the nodes are given by software modules (such as classes), whereas the links between nodes may describe the type of connection (such as usage or inheritance). This network is highly dynamic because of the addition/deletion of nodes or links and the propagation of changes. Understanding the development of OSS puts a challenge on different sciences: physics, to reveal the structural features and the abstract dynamics of the network; computer science, to elucidate the software engineering principles underlying OSS; economics/management sciences, to understand the social interaction of developers and users. In this talk, using a highly data driven approach, we analyse the community dynamics in more than 100 projects, the dependency structure and the change records of 35 Java projects and the evolution of the dependency network. Our investigations show remarkable regularities in the structure and dynamics of OSS which can be reproduced by simple models, this way challenging established paradigms in software engineering.