Complex Networks VII

Volume 644 of the series Studies in Computational Intelligence pp 173-184


Returners and Explorers Dichotomy in Web Browsing Behavior—A Human Mobility Approach

  • Hugo S. BarbosaAffiliated withBioComplex Laboratory, Florida Institute of Technology Email author 
  • , Fernando B. de Lima NetoAffiliated withPolytechnic School, University of Pernambuco
  • , Alexandre EvsukoffAffiliated withCOPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  • , Ronaldo MenezesAffiliated withBioComplex Laboratory, Florida Institute of Technology

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A better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying complex human dynamics is of major interest in contemporary social research. Over the last few years, researchers have made huge strides towards this understanding, thanks especially to the increasing availability of datasets containing digital traces of many human activities. In this work, we investigate Web browsing trajectories using a human mobility approach based on approximately four years of browsing history data. Our findings strongly suggest that return visitation patterns in browsing behaviors and in human mobility exhibit very similar scaling properties. Moreover, we classify Web users as returners and explorers based on their on-line activities, and show that at a population level, the distribution of both profiles agrees with empirical observations in human mobility. Finally, we create a network representation of the most popular websites from the aggregated browsing trajectories and uncover many functional clusters related with different users’ activities.