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Modelling the navigation potential of a web page

Fenner, Trevor and Levene, Mark and Loizou, George (2008) Modelling the navigation potential of a web page. Theoretical Computer Science 396 (1-3), pp. 88-96. ISSN 0304-3975.

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Navigating the web involves pruning (or discounting) some of the outgoing links and following one of the others. More pruning is likely to happen for deeper navigation. Under this model of navigation, we call the number of nodes that are available after pruning, for browsing within a session, the potential gain of the starting web page. We first consider the case when the discounting factor is geometric. We show that the distribution of the effective number of links that the user can follow at each navigation step after pruning, i.e. the number of nodes added to the potential gain at that step, is given by the erf function, which is related to the probability density function for the Normal distribution. We derive an approximation to the potential gain of a web page and show numerically that it is very accurate; we also obtain lower and upper bounds. We then consider a harmonic discounting factor and show that, in this case, the potential gain at each step is closely related to the probability density function for the Poisson distribution. The potential gain has been applied to web navigation where, given no other information, it helps the user to choose a good starting point for initiating a “surfing” session. Another application is in social network analysis, where the potential gain could provide a novel measure of centrality.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Web graph, web navigation, link analysis metrics
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Computer Science and Information Systems
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2011 09:11
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 15:26

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