This paper aims to presents Real-time Usage Mining (RUM), an approach that exploits the rich information provided by client logs to support the construction of adaptive Web applications. The main goal of RUM is to provide useful information about the behavior of users that are currently browsing a Web application. By consuming this information, the application is able to adapt its user interface in real-time to enhance the user experience. RUM provides two types of services as follows: support for the detection of struggling users; and user profiling based on the detection of behavior patterns.Design/methodology/approachRUM leverages the previous study on usability evaluation to provide a service that evaluates the usability of tasks performed by users while they browse applications. This evaluation is based on a metric that allows the detection of struggling users, making it possible to identify these users as soon as few logs from their interaction are processed. RUM also exploits log mining techniques to detect usage patterns, which are then associated with user profiles previously defined by the application specialist. After associating usage patterns to user profiles, RUM is able to classify users as they browse applications, allowing the application developer to tailor the user interface according to the users’ needs and preferences.FindingsThe proposed approach was exploited to improve user experience in real-world Web applications. Experiments showed that RUM was effective to provide support for struggling users to complete tasks. Moreover, it was also effective to detect usage patterns and associate them with user profiles.Originality/valueAlthough the literature reports studies that explore client logs to support both the detection of struggling users and the user profiling based on usage patterns, no existing solutions provide support for detecting users from specific profiles or struggling users, in real-time, while they are browsing Web applications. RUM also provides a toolkit that allows the approach to be easily deployed in any Web application.
International Journal of Web Information Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 3, 2020
Keywords: Web mining; Adaptive Web applications; User behavior analysis