My colleagues Yongli, Flora, Kevin, Mark (all RMIT University) and I have been busy researching indoor user behaviour. We have now got a paper (pre-print) covering the analysis of indoor browsing behaviour in large retail spaces accepted for publication in JASIST (the Journal of the American Society for Information Science, No 1 in Library and Information Science according to Google Scholar Metrics).

From the abstract: “We analyze 18 million rows of Wi-Fi access logs collected over a one year period from over 120,000 anonymized users at an inner-city shopping mall. The anonymized dataset gathered from an opt-in system provides users’ approximate physical location, as well as Web browsing and some search history. Such data provides a unique opportunity to analyze the interaction between people’s behavior in physical retail spaces and their Web behavior, serving as a proxy to their information needs. We find: (1) there is a weekly periodicity in users’ visits to the mall; (2) people tend to visit similar mall locations and Web content during their repeated visits to the mall; (3) around 60% of registered Wi-Fi users actively browse the Web and around 10% of them use Wi-Fi for accessing Web search engines; (4) people are likely to spend a relatively constant amount of time browsing the Web while their visiting duration may vary; (5) the physical spatial context has a small but significant influence on the Web content that indoor users browse; (6) accompanying users tend to access resources from the same Web domains.

This work is supported by the ARC LP Project TRIIBE, and our industry partner – thanks!

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