On the evolution of Wikipedia

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On the evolution of Wikipedia
Authors: Rodrigo B. Almeida, Barzan Mozafari, Junghoo Cho [edit item]
Citation: International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media  : . 2007.
Publication type: Conference paper
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Link(s): Paper link
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On the evolution of Wikipedia is a publication by Rodrigo B. Almeida, Barzan Mozafari, Junghoo Cho.


[edit] Abstract

A recent phenomenon on the Web is the emergence and proliferation of new social media systems allowing social interaction between people. One of the most popular of these systems is Wikipedia that allows users to create content in a collaborative way. Despite its current popularity, not much is known about how users interact with Wikipedia and how it has evolved over time. In this paper we aim to provide a first, extensive study of the user behavior on Wikipedia and its evolution. Compared to prior studies, our work differs in several ways. First, previous studies on the analysis of the user workloads (for systems such as peer-to-peer systems [10] and Web servers [2]) have mainly focused on understanding the users who are accessing information. In contrast, Wikipedia’s provides us with the opportunity to understand how users create and maintain information since it provides the complete evolution history of its content. Second, the main focus of prior studies is evaluating the implication of the user workloads on the system performance, while our study is trying to understand the evolution of the data corpus and the user behavior themselves. Our main findings include that (1) the evolution and updates of Wikipedia is governed by a self-similar process, not by the Poisson process that has been observed for the general Web [4, 6] and (2) the exponential growth of Wikipedia is mainly driven by its rapidly increasing user base, indicating the importance of its open editorial policy for its current success. We also find that (3) the number of updates made to the Wikipedia articles exhibit a power-law distribution, but the distribution is less skewed than those obtained from other studies.

[edit] Research questions

"This paper tries to model the behavior of users contributing to Wikipedia (hereafter called contributors) as a way of understanding its evolution over time. It presents what we believe to be the first extensive effort in that direction."

Research details

Topics: Participation trends [edit item]
Domains: Computer science [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "Undetermined" [edit item]
Research design: Statistical analysis [edit item]
Data source: Wikipedia pages [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Longitudinal [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Article, Edit, User [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Dump [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: Article [edit item]
Wikipedia language: English [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"Based on this characterization we were able to find that Wikipedia evolution is a self-similar process growing exponentially mostly because of its increasing number of contributors. Moreover, we show that Wikipedia contributors are naturally split into distinct groups based on their behavior and that although the contributors have a broad range of interests in most of their visits they only focus on a single article. On the article side we were able to see that the number of changes to an article follows a power law that is less skewed than one would expect based on other workload studies."

[edit] Comments


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "On the evolution of Wikipedia"RDF feed
AbstractA recent phenomenon on the Web is the emerA recent phenomenon on the Web is the emergence and proliferation of new social media systems allowing social interaction between people. One of the most popular of these systems is Wikipedia that allows users to create content in a collaborative way. Despite its current popularity, not much is known about how users interact with Wikipedia and how it has evolved over time.

In this paper we aim to provide a first, extensive study of the user behavior on Wikipedia and its evolution. Compared to prior studies, our work differs in several ways. First, previous studies on the analysis of the user workloads (for systems such as peer-to-peer systems [10] and Web servers [2]) have mainly focused on understanding the users who are accessing information. In contrast, Wikipedia’s provides us with the opportunity to understand how users create and maintain information since it provides the complete evolution history of its content. Second, the main focus of prior studies is evaluating the implication of the user workloads on the system performance, while our study is trying to understand the evolution of the data corpus and the user behavior themselves.

Our main findings include that (1) the evolution and updates of Wikipedia is governed by a self-similar process, not by the Poisson process that has been observed for the general Web [4, 6] and (2) the exponential growth of Wikipedia is mainly driven by its rapidly increasing user base, indicating the importance of its open editorial policy for its current success. We also find that (3) the number of updates made to the Wikipedia articles exhibit a power-law distribution, but the distribution is less skewed than those obtained from other studies.
ed than those obtained from other studies.
Added by wikilit teamAdded on initial load +
Collected data time dimensionLongitudinal +
ConclusionBased on this characterization we were ablBased on this characterization we were able to find that Wikipedia evolution is a self-similar process growing exponentially mostly because of its increasing number of contributors. Moreover, we show that Wikipedia contributors are naturally split into distinct groups based on their behavior and that although the contributors have a broad range of interests in most of their visits they only focus on a single article. On the article side we were able to see that the number of changes to an article follows a power law that is less skewed than one would expect based on other workload studies.ld expect based on other workload studies.
Data sourceWikipedia pages +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22On%2Bthe%2Bevolution%2Bof%2BWikipedia%22 +
Has authorRodrigo B. Almeida +, Barzan Mozafari + and Junghoo Cho +
Has domainComputer science +
Has topicParticipation trends +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeConference paper +
Published inInternational Conference on Weblogs and Social Media +
Research designStatistical analysis +
Research questionsThis paper tries to model the behavior of users contributing to Wikipedia (hereafter called contributors) as a way of understanding its evolution over time. It presents what we believe to be the first extensive effort in that direction.
Revid10,888 +
TheoriesUndetermined
Theory typeAnalysis +
TitleOn the evolution of Wikipedia
Unit of analysisArticle +, Edit + and User +
Urlhttp://www.icwsm.org/papers/2--Almeida-Mozafari-Cho.pdf +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionDump +
Wikipedia languageEnglish +
Wikipedia page typeArticle +
Year2007 +