Characterization of the Distribution of Participation in Wikis

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Tenorio Fornés, Antonio and Arroyo Gallardo, Javier and Hassan, Samer (2016) Characterization of the Distribution of Participation in Wikis. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The distribution of participation in peer production, such as wikis and open source communities, has been traditionally characterized as a power-law distribution. This assumption has several implications, such as the assumed uniformity of the relation across participants, or the characterization of occasional vs core contributors. However, recent statistical studies on empirical data have challenged the power-law dominance in different domains. This work critically examines the assumption that the distribution of participation in wikis follows such distribution. We use statistical tools to exhaustively explore over 6,000 wikis from Wikia, the largest wiki repository. We analyse the empirical distribution of each wiki comparing it with different well-known skewed distributions. The results show that the power-law performs sensibly poor, surpassed by three others, while the truncated power-law is superior to all others or superior to some and as good as the rest in the 99.3% of the cases. In conclusion, these results refute the widely accepted assumption of power-law ubiquity in peer production, and aim to open a discussion around the issue.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Wiki, Participation, Commons-Based Peer Production, Power Law, Online Communities
Subjects:Sciences > Computer science
ID Code:62308
Deposited On:28 Sep 2020 16:00
Last Modified:28 Sep 2020 16:00

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