ANALYSIS AND MODELING OF THE PRODUCT STRUCTURE AND COMMUNITY STRUCTURE IN OPEN SOURCE PROCESSES
Open source product development refers to a paradigm where large numbers of participants collaborate in the form of communities to develop new products and services. The fundamental differences between traditional product development and open source processes are that the former is based on top-down decomposition while the latter is based on evolution and self-organization. The paradigm of open source processes has resulted in highly successful products such as Linux and Apache. Despite the success of various projects using open source processes, it is not well understood how the product structures and community structures evolve over time. In response, the main objective in this thesis is to analyze and model product structures and community structures of open source processes over time. The research objective consists of three parts: 1) the characterization of product structures in the open source processes, 2) the evolutionary characteristics of product structures in the open source processes over time, 3) the co-evolution of product structure and community structures over time. To achieve the first research objective, an agent-based model is proposed to simulate the open source processes. The effect of product structures on the open source process is analyzed based on a mobile phone example. To achieve the second research objective, an open source software project - Drupal is employed as the case studies. The evolution of product structure is determined by node-level mechanisms. To achieve the third research objective, the co-evolution of product structures and community structures is studied at different levels. The results from this research include new knowledge about the evolution of the product structures and co-evolution of product and community structures over time in open source processes.