Strong Regularities in World Wide Web Surfing

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Science  03 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5360, pp. 95-97
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5360.95

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One of the most common modes of accessing information in the World Wide Web is surfing from one document to another along hyperlinks. Several large empirical studies have revealed common patterns of surfing behavior. A model that assumes that users make a sequence of decisions to proceed to another page, continuing as long as the value of the current page exceeds some threshold, yields the probability distribution for the number of pages that a user visits within a given Web site. This model was verified by comparing its predictions with detailed measurements of surfing patterns. The model also explains the observed Zipf-like distributions in page hits observed at Web sites.

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