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Spotlight: Surfing the Net: Algorithm Figures Into the Equation

April 03, 1998

A mathematical algorithm can predict how long people will surf the Internet and how many pages they'll look at before giving up, researchers at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center write in the journal Science. Their model assumes that users make a sequence of decisions to proceed, continuing as long as the page is useful--a value that can be expressed in numbers. If the value is negative, it's no longer worth continuing. Users mentioned problems with slow access and inability to find relevant information.

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