Role of the Website Structure in the Diversity of Browsing Behaviors

Pedro Ramaciotti Morales, Lionel Tabourier, Sylvain Ung, and Christophe Prieur.

In Proceedings of the 30th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, pp. 133-142. ACM, 2019.

The quantitative measurement of the diversity of information consumption has emerged as a prominent tool in the examination of relevant phenomena such as filter bubbles. This paper proposes an analysis of the diversity of the navigation of users inside a website through the analysis of server log files. The methodology, guided and illustrated by a case study, but easily applicable to other cases, establishes relations between types of users’ behavior, site structure, and diversity of web browsing. Using the navigation paths of sessions reconstructed from the log file, the proposed methodology offers three main insights: 1) it reveals diversification patterns associated with the page network structure, 2) it relates human browsing characteristics (such as multi-tabbing or click frequency) with the degree of diversity, and 3) it helps identifying diversification patterns specific to subsets of users. These results are in turn useful in the analysis of recommender systems and in the design of websites when there are diversity-related goals or constrains.