News
11/3/2016

CEXS-UPF and IBE (CSIC-UPF): The use of the programming languages is determined by social imitation mechanisms

CEXS-UPF and IBE (CSIC-UPF): The use of the programming languages is determined by social imitation mechanisms


News from CEXS-UPF


A recent model designed by the researchers from the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS), Sergi Valverde and Ricard Solé, and published in the journal Human Biology suggests that the success or the failure of the programming languages could be strongly determined by social imitation mechanisms. In technology, sometimes the best option disappears, while less advantageous options rise with the market dominated. The more users a technology has, the bigger is the probability that other users choose it. The direct consequence of this scenario is that social amplification and competition necessarily end up in the extinction of the less popular options.

This is the first model that can predict the popularity rankings of the programming languages. Valverde and Solé make a strong prediction: " in the future, due to globalization and increasing returns of scale, only a few languages survive". In fact, much of the diversity of programming languages are used by small communities of users or have already been lost, as happens in the case of natural language. However, the amplification mechanisms affect much more to the programming languages, and the loss of diversity can take place in a lower timescale.

More information:
CEXS-UPF Website and IBE Website

Reference work:
Solé R, Valverde S. A Cultural Diffusion Model for the Rise and Fall of Programming Languages. Human Biology Vol. 87, No. 3, pp. 224-234 (2015).