Prediction of user behaviour on the web

  • Nikolay Burlutskiy

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The Web has become an ubiquitous environment for human interaction, communication, and data sharing. As a result, large amounts of data are produced. This data can be utilised by building predictive models of user behaviour in order to support business decisions. However, the fast pace of modern businesses is creating the pressure on industry to provide faster and better decisions. This thesis addresses this challenge by proposing a novel methodology for an effcient prediction of user behaviour. The problems concerned are: (i) modelling user behaviour on the Web, (ii) choosing and extracting features from data generated by user behaviour, and (iii) choosing a Machine Learning (ML) set-up for an effcient prediction. First, a novel Time-Varying Attributed Graph (TVAG) is introduced and then a TVAG-based model for modelling user behaviour on the Web is proposed. TVAGs capture temporal properties of user behaviour by their time varying component of features of the graph nodes and edges. Second, the proposed model allows to extract features for further ML predictions. However, extracting the features and building the model may be unacceptably hard and long process. Thus, a guideline for an effcient feature extraction from the TVAG-based model is proposed. Third, a method for choosing a ML set-up to build an accurate and fast predictive model is proposed and evaluated. Finally, a deep learning architecture for predicting user behaviour on the Web is proposed and evaluated. To sum up, the main contribution to knowledge of this work is in developing the methodology for fast and effcient predictions of user behaviour on the Web. The methodology is evaluated on datasets from a few Web platforms, namely Stack Exchange, Twitter, and Facebook.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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