Modelling User Behavior Dynamics with Embeddings

Lei Han, Alessandro Checco, Djellel Difallah, Gianluca Demartini, Shazia Sadiq

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Understanding user interaction behaviors remains a challenging problem. Quantifying behavior dynamics over time as users complete tasks has only been done in specific domains. In this paper, we present a user behavior model built using behavior embeddings to compare behaviors and their change over time. To this end, we first define the formal model and train the model using both action (e.g., copy/paste) embeddings and user interaction feature (e.g., length of the copied text) embeddings. Having obtained vector representations of user behaviors, we then define three measurements to model behavior dynamics over time, namely: behavior position, displacement, and velocity. To evaluate the proposed methodology, we use three real world datasets: (i) tens of users completing complex data curation tasks in a lab setting, (ii) hundreds of crowd workers completing structured tasks in a crowdsourcing setting, and (iii) thousands of editors completing unstructured editing tasks on Wikidata. Through these datasets, we show that the proposed methodology can: (i) surface behavioral differences among users; (ii) recognize relative behavioral changes; and (iii) discover directional deviations of user behaviors. Our approach can be used (i) to capture behavioral semantics from data in a consistent way, (ii) to quantify behavioral diversity for a task and among different users, and (iii) to explore the temporal behavior evolution with respect to various task properties (e.g., structure and difficulty).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCIKM 2020 - Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450368599
StatePublished - Oct 19 2020
Event29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2020 - Virtual, Online, Ireland
Duration: Oct 19 2020Oct 23 2020

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings


Conference29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2020
CityVirtual, Online


  • behavior dynamics
  • embeddings
  • interaction behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Decision Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling User Behavior Dynamics with Embeddings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this