Software Open Access

The Collaborative Organization of Knowledge: Source Code

Spinellis, Diomidis; Louridas, Panos

Wikipedia is an ongoing endeavor to create a free encyclopedia through an open computer-mediated collaborative effort. How does Wikipedia grow and maintain its coverage? This page contains supporing material relevant to a publication that examines this question.

  • Diomidis Spinellis and Panagiotis Louridas. The collaborative organization of knowledge. Communications of the ACM, 51(8):68–73, August 2008. (doi:10.1145/1378704.1378720)

In the above paper, a longitudinal study of Wikipedia's evolution shows that although Wikipedia's scope is increasing, its coverage is not deteriorating. This can be explained by the fact that referring to an non-existing entry typically leads to the establishment of an article for it. Wikipedia's evolution also demonstrates the creation of a large real world scale-free graph through a combination of incremental growth and preferential attachment.

See also the comments appearing in a corresponding blog entry and an update containing an analysis of two more years (2006-2007).

The source code used to process Wikipedia's XML dump is distributed as open source software.

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