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Self-Organization Patterns in Wasp and Open Source Communities
March/April 2006 (vol. 21 no. 2)
pp. 36-40
Sergi Valverde, Pompeu Fabra University
Guy Theraulaz, Universit? Paul Sabatier
Jacques Gautrais, Universit? Paul Sabatier
Vincent Fourcassié, Universit? Paul Sabatier
Ricard V. Solé, Pompeu Fabra University and Sante Fe Institute

To understand a software development community's complex dynamics, we must view its organization as a network of interacting agents guided by goals and constraints. In addition to particular features, these communities display overall organization patterns similar to those seen in other organization types, including both natural and artificial systems. Examining both software developers and social insects as agents interacting in a complex network reveals common statistical organization patterns. Studying these patterns shows simple self-organizing processes that lead to hierarchy formation in both wasp colonies and open-source communities. This discovery further validates simple models of wasp hierarchy formation based on individual learning. It also reveals that different reinforcement mechanisms clearly distinguish a few core members from the rest of the open-source community.

This article is part of a special issue on Self-Managing Systems.

Index Terms:
social networks, self-organization, open-source software development
Citation:
Sergi Valverde, Guy Theraulaz, Jacques Gautrais, Vincent Fourcassié, Ricard V. Solé, "Self-Organization Patterns in Wasp and Open Source Communities," IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 36-40, March-April 2006, doi:10.1109/MIS.2006.34
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