InterJournal Complex Systems, 1838
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [1838]
Submission Date: 2006
Inter-package dependency networks in open-source software
Author(s): Nathan LaBelle ,Eugene Wallingford

Subject(s): CX.18

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Abstract:

Internet-based repositories of Open-Source Software provide a growing collection of software programs that interact with each other by code reuse. This software is developed by otherwise non-interacting, disjoint development groups with different goals, resources, and development methodologies. The software has a variety of functions, exists at assorted levels of maturity, and is written in a variety of programming languages. We have mined several large repositories and show that despite diversity in development groups and computer system architecture, resource coupling at the inter-package level creates small-world and scale-free networks with a giant component containing recurring motifs; which makes package networks similar to other natural and engineered systems. We document the effect that network structure can have on software robustness and security.

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