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An Investigation on Online Versus Batch Learning in Predicting User Behaviour


An investigation on how to produce a fast and accurate prediction of user behaviour on the Web is conducted. First, the problem of predicting user behaviour as a classification task is formulated and then the main problems of such real-time predictions are specified: the accuracy and time complexity of the prediction. Second, a method for comparison of online and batch (offline) algorithms used for user behaviour prediction is proposed. Last, the performance of these algorithms using the data from a popular question and answer platform, Stack Overflow, is empirically explored. It is demonstrated that a simple online learning algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art batch algorithms and performs as well as a deep learning algorithm, Deep Belief Networks. The proposed method for comparison of online and offline algorithms as well as the provided experimental evidence can be used for choosing a machine learning set-up for predicting user behaviour on the Web in scenarios where the accuracy and the time performance are of main concern.


  • Online Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Classification

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    In our experiments, we tried \(L_1\) and \(L_2\) regularisation but we did not find any significant improvements in the results compared to the results without regularisation reported in this paper.


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The authors are grateful for illuminating discussions to Dr Yuri Kalnishkan’s team in the project “On-line Self-Tuning Learning Algorithms for Handling Historical Information” (funded by the Leverhulme Trust).

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Correspondence to Nikolay Burlutskiy .

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Burlutskiy, N., Petridis, M., Fish, A., Chernov, A., Ali, N. (2016). An Investigation on Online Versus Batch Learning in Predicting User Behaviour. In: Bramer, M., Petridis, M. (eds) Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XXXIII. SGAI 2016. Springer, Cham.

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