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Strong Regularities in World Wide Web Surfing

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Bernardo A. Huberman and Rajan M. Lukose

author = "Bernardo A. Huberman and Peter L. T. Pirolli andJames E. Pitkow and Rajan M. Lukose",
title = "Strong Regularities in World Wide Web Surfing",
journal = "Science",
year = "1998",
volume = "280",
number = "5360",
pages = "95-97",
month = "April 3",


One of the most common modes of accessing information in the World Wide Web (WWW) consists in surfing from one document to another along hypermedia links. An empirical study of user patterns in several settings has revealed strong regularities which can be described by a law determining the probability that a random user will surf given WWW sites for a given number of links. We verified this law of surfing by performing detailed measurements of surfing patterns by WWW users and showed that it also explains the observed Zipf-like distributions in path lengths and page visits to sites on the World Wide Web.

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