The role of mental models in FLOSS development work practices

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


Proceedings of the IFIP 2nd International Conference on Open Source Software, Lake Como, Italy, 8–9 June, p.91-97 (2006)


FLOSS, Mental Model


Shared understandings are important for software development as they guide to effective individual contributions to, and coordination of, the software development process. In this paper, we present the theoretical background and research design for a proposed study on shared mental models within Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development teams. In particular, we plan to perform case studies on several projects and to use cognitive maps analysis to represent and compare the mental models of the involved members so as to gauge the degree of common knowledge and the development of a collective mind as well as to better understand the reasons that underlie team members actions and the way common mental models, if any, arise.

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