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.

Files (10.5 kB)
Name Size
10.5 kB Download
All versions This version
Views 354354
Downloads 1616
Data volume 167.6 kB167.6 kB
Unique views 305305
Unique downloads 1515


Cite as