Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Modeling Wikipedia's Growth

Wikipedia is one of the most interesting phenomena of current times.

One interesting area of study is the modeling of its growth.

If Wikipedia's growth follows the exponential growth model the average rate of growth would be proportional to the size of the Wikipedia. However, it appears that the rate of growth is slowing Maybe Wikipedia's growth follows the logistic growth model better. This model is based on:
- more content leads to more traffic, which in turn leads to more new content
- however, more content also leads to less potential content, and hence less new content
- the limit is the combined expertise of the possible participants.

Interestingly enough, while the number of articles may not be strictly following the exponential curve, we may consider that the quality of articles is, i.e if we assume that the number of edits per article is a measure of its quality.
The graph is plotted in logarithmic scale, and this data also fits well with exponential growth starting from October 2002. The number of edits per article has since doubled once every 504 days.

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