An Exploration of Learning Processes as Process Maps in FLOSS Repositories

by   Patrick Mukala, et al.

Evidence suggests that Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) environments provide unlimited learning opportunities. Community members engage in a number of activities both during their interaction with their peers and while making use of the tools available in these environments. A number of studies document the existence of learning processes in FLOSS through the analysis of surveys and questionnaires filled by FLOSS project participants. At the same time, the interest in understanding the dynamics of the FLOSS phenomenon, its popularity and success resulted in the development of tools and techniques for extracting and analyzing data from different FLOSS data sources. This new field is called Mining Software Repositories (MSR). In spite of these efforts, there is limited work aiming to provide empirical evidence of learning processes directly from FLOSS repositories. In this paper, we seek to trigger such an initiative by proposing an approach based on Process Mining to trace learning behaviors from FLOSS participants trails of activities, as recorded in FLOSS repositories, and visualize them as process maps. Process maps provide a pictorial representation of real behavior as it is recorded in FLOSS data. Our aim is to provide critical evidence that boosts the understanding of learning behavior in FLOSS communities by analyzing the relevant repositories. In order to accomplish this, we propose an effective approach that comprises first the mining of FLOSS repositories in order to generate Event logs, and then the generation of process maps, equipped with relevant statistical data interpreting and indicating the value of process discovery from these repos-itories


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