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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Telecommunications, volume 5, numbers 3 and 4, 2012 // View article tele_v5_n34_2012_5


Understanding Internet User Behavior: Towards a Unified Methodology

Authors:
Christina Lagerstedt
Andreas Aurelius
Olle Findahl
Hemamali Pathirana
Claus Popp Larsen

Keywords: testbed; traffic measurements; user behavior; FTTH;

Abstract:
Understanding user behavior and Internet usage patterns is fundamental in developing future access networks and services that meet technical as well as end user needs. User behavior is routinely studied and measured, but with different methods depending on the research discipline of the investigator, and these disciplines rarely cross. We tackle this challenge by combining measurement methods from different research disciplines, with the purpose of finding a complete picture of the user behavior and working towards a unified analysis methodology. In this paper, we provide results, based on measurements performed with three different methods: Internet traffic measurements, web questionnaires and diaries. All measurements were performed in the Acreo National Testbed, where we have access to both the network infrastructure and the end users. By comparing the different measurement methods we find that it is difficult for the end users to estimate the time they spend on different Internet activities although they are fairly well able to estimate the frequency of usage. We see that it is more difficult for end users to estimate their usage of streaming media applications than their HTTP traffic. We also find that though the diaries are quite accurate, the traffic measurements give us a much more detailed picture of the end user activity. We conclude that having a testbed with real end users is invaluable to this kind of study and we emphasize the importance of having access to Internet traffic to gain detailed knowledge of end user behavior.

Pages: 153 to 162

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2012. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 31, 2012

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2601

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