What Makes Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) Projects Successful? An Agent-Based Model of FLOSS Projects

What Makes Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) Projects Successful? An Agent-Based Model of FLOSS Projects

Nicholas P. Radtke (Arizona State University, USA), Marco A. Janssen (Arizona State University, USA) and James S. Collofello (Arizona State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/jossp.2009040101
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Abstract

The last few years have seen a rapid increase in the number of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects. Some of these projects, such as Linux and the Apache web server, have become phenomenally successful. However, for every successful FLOSS project there are dozens of FLOSS projects which never succeed. These projects fail to attract developers and/or consumers and, as a result, never get off the ground. The aim of this research is to better understand why some FLOSS projects flourish while others wither and die. This article presents a simple agent-based model that is calibrated on key patterns of data from SourceForge, the largest online site hosting open source projects. The calibrated model provides insight into the conditions necessary for FLOSS success and might be used for scenario analysis of future developments of FLOSS.

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