Predicting the Popularity of GitHub Repositories

Hudson Borges, Andre Hora, Marco Tulio Valente
2016 Proceedings of the The 12th International Conference on Predictive Models and Data Analytics in Software Engineering - PROMISE 2016  
GitHub is the largest source code repository in the world. It provides a git-based source code management platform and also many features inspired by social networks. For example, GitHub users can show appreciation to projects by adding stars to them. Therefore, the number of stars of a repository is a direct measure of its popularity. In this paper, we use multiple linear regressions to predict the number of stars of GitHub repositories. These predictions are useful both to repository owners
more » ... d clients, who usually want to know how their projects are performing in a competitive open source development market. In a large-scale analysis, we show that the proposed models start to provide accurate predictions after being trained with the number of stars received in the last six months. Furthermore, specific models---generated using data from repositories that share the same growth trends---are recommended for repositories with slow growth and/or for repositories with less stars. Finally, we evaluate the ability to predict not the number of stars of a repository but its rank among the GitHub repositories. We found a very strong correlation between predicted and real rankings (Spearman's rho greater than 0.95).
doi:10.1145/2972958.2972966 dblp:conf/promise/BorgesHV16 fatcat:jw4s44bp65dqtgme2xlyj3lani