Christine E. Wania
The College at Brockport, State University of New York, United States of America

Monday, November 9, 1:30pm

Citation analyses are used to investigate the influence of architect Christopher Alexander over the period of 1964-2014. Alexander’s work has been so influential that he has been cited by nearly 2000 source items in the Web of Science Core Collection, by Thomson Reuters. Alexander’s work has had a profound interdisciplinary reach. Citation analyses reveal that scholars in computing disciplines have cited Alexander’s work more than scholars in any other discipline including architecture. Alexander’s most cited work, A Pattern Language, is one of two volumes that Alexander refers to as an indivisible whole. These analyses reveal very different citation patterns for the two volumes of this indivisible whole. Although the difference is measurable, in terms of number of citations, we cannot say why this is so. However, the results of these analyses raise several questions including why we, as a community, have for the most part cited only a piece of this indivisible whole. The citation patterns support that this series has been largely reduced to one of its parts, when possibly the whole is greater than the sum of its parts or one of its parts. In this paper I propose that we might begin to see the potential benefits of pattern languages in computing disciplines when we take holistic approach, considering and applying the theory as described in all of the volumes in the series.