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DISCOVERING COMPLEX NETWORKS IN OPEN SOURCE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT TEAMS

Presentation at Elon Student Undergraduate Research Forum, Spring 2004

Joseph A. Magyar (Dr. Megan Conklin), Department of Computing Sciences

Complex networks can be found in many different domains, from airline hub-and-spoke systems to infectious disease transmission, though they can be difficult to detect in massive data sets.  This research project investigates whether these complex networks also exist in open source software development projects.  At the end of the research, it will be possible to see if complex networks exist between developers of projects included on the Sourceforge (www.sourceforge.net) software development Web site.

In order to find the answer to this question, a computer program will be needed to gather information about each individual project available on Sourceforge. Because of the requirement to harvest text from the HTML of Web pages, this program will be implemented using the programming language Perl. By storing information about each open source project and the team of developers, the research will then focus on comparing these projects and developers using graphical data mining techniques. 

The presentation of research will explain what a complex network is and then also what open source software development is and the advantages it holds in the world of computing sciences and information systems.  Then the research conducted and data obtained will be presented along with an explanation of what the data means in terms of complex networks.