Ricard Solé, Sergi Valverde

Paper #: 06-12-053

Complex networks emerge under different conditions including design (i.e., top-down decisions) through simple rules of growth and evolution. Such rules are typically local when dealing with biological systems and most social webs. An important deviation from such scenario is provided by communities of agents engaged in technology development, such as open source (OS) communities. Here we analyze their network structure, showing that it defines a complex weighted network with scaling laws at different levels, as measured by looking at e-mail exchanges. We also present a simple model of network growth involving non-local rules based on betweenness centrality. Our analysis suggests that a well-defined interplay between the overall goals of the community and the underlying hierarchical organization play a key role in shaping its dynamics.