Web Routineness and Limits of Predictability: Investigating Demographic and Behavioral Differences Using Web Tracking Data

Authors

  • Juhi Kulshrestha GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany University of Konstanz, Germany
  • Marcos Oliveira GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany
  • Orkut Karaçalık GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
  • Denis Bonnay Université Paris Nanterre, France Respondi SAS, France
  • Claudia Wagner GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany

Keywords:

Social media usage on mobile devices; location, human mobility, and behavior, Engagement, motivations, incentives, and gamification., Trend identification and tracking; time series forecasting, New social media applications; interfaces; interaction techniques

Abstract

Understanding human activities and movements on the Web is not only important for computational social scientists but can also offer valuable guidance for the design of online systems for recommendations, caching, advertising, and personalization. In this work, we demonstrate that people tend to follow routines on the Web, and these repetitive patterns of web visits increase their browsing behavior's achievable predictability. We present an information-theoretic framework for measuring the uncertainty and theoretical limits of predictability of human mobility on the Web. We systematically assess the impact of different design decisions on the measurement. We apply the framework to a web tracking dataset of German internet users. Our empirical results highlight that individual's routines on the Web make their browsing behavior predictable to 85% on average, though the value varies across individuals. We observe that these differences in the users' predictabilities can be explained to some extent by their demographic and behavioral attributes.

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Published

2021-05-22

How to Cite

Kulshrestha, J., Oliveira, M., Karaçalık, O., Bonnay, D., & Wagner, C. (2021). Web Routineness and Limits of Predictability: Investigating Demographic and Behavioral Differences Using Web Tracking Data. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 15(1), 327-338. Retrieved from https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/18064