Workshop on Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection

Edinburgh, Scotland

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Workshop Submissions

A listing of workshop submissions is now available. Please submit final versions by March 17th to be included in the online workshop proceedings. Submit a pdf file to Use the WWW submission format, but omit the WWW copyright notice.

Call for Participation

Workshop Topic and Content

We invite position papers for the WWW 2006 workshop “Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection”. Many WWW researchers require logs of user behaviour on the Web. Researchers study the interactions of web users, both with respect to general behaviour and in order to develop and evaluate new tools and techniques. Traces of web activity are used for a wide variety of research and commercial purposes including user interface usability and evaluations of user behaviour and patterns on the web. Currently, there is a lack of available logging tools to assist researchers with data collection and it can be difficult to choose an appropriate technique. There are several tradeoffs associated with different methods of capturing log-based data. There are also challenges associated with processing, analyzing and utilizing the collected data.

This one day workshop will examine the trade-offs and challenges inherent to the different logging approaches and provide workshop attendees the opportunity to discuss both previous data collection experiences and upcoming challenges. The goal of this workshop is to establish a community of researchers and practitioners to contribute to a shared repository of logging knowledge and tools. The workshop will consist of a panel discussion, participant presentations, demonstrations of logging tools and prototypes, and a discussion of the next steps for the group. Participation is open to researchers, practitioners, and students in the field.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Submission Details

Potential participants are invited to submit either a one page statement of interest or a four page position paper. All accepted submissions will be included in the workshop proceedings, which will be published online. Participants will be selected based on the relevance of the submission to the workshop topic, interest to other participants, and breadth of submissions. A selected number of position papers will be chosen for presentation by the participants during the workshop.

Submissions should be sent to no later than February 10, 2006. Please send submissions in PDF format. Submissions should follow the WWW2006 submission format.

Workshop Format

The workshop will be divided into four sections. The first section will consist of introductions among all participants attending the workshop, followed by a panel discussion regarding the various data collection approaches including their inherent tradeoffs. This discussion will ground the discourse for the workshop and will be particularly beneficial for newcomers to the field. After the morning break, a series of ten minute participant presentations will take place with the focus on prior experiences and demonstrations of logging tools. Following lunch, a second series of presentation will take place focusing on participants’ upcoming logging challenges. It is anticipated that this section of the workshop will be very interactive with feedback available for the approaches under consideration. The final section, will concentrate on plans for a shared repository of tools and knowledge through the construction of a Wiki or other online resource deemed suitable by workshop participants.

Anticipated Workshop Outcomes

We anticipate that this workshop will result in a shared repository, such as a Wiki, of logging knowledge and tools for current and future WWW researchers. The workshop proceedings will also be available online.

Workshop Organizers

Andy Edmonds, Microsoft

K. Andrew (Andy) Edmonds, M.S., is a Lead Program Manager at MSN Search. He has spent eleven years in the internet industry harnessing a combination of user feedback, traditional usability methods, and log file analysis to improve products and services. This experience included applying the human factors technique of task analysis to web server log file analysis. Prior to his move to Microsoft, Andy was heavily involved in the open source Mozilla project and worked with developers through public communication channels on usability enhancements. He has developed a suite for usability testing on the web and tools for expert heuristic review and card sorting based upon the Mozilla technology. Andy was a co-leader of a tutorial on developing hypermedia systems with Mozilla at Hypertext 2004.

Kirstie Hawkey, Dalhousie University

Kirstie Hawkey is a PhD student in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University. The focus of her thesis research is managing the privacy of incidental information, specifically, the traces of web browsing activity that can be visible on a computer display during co-located collaboration. Kirstie has conducted two field studies using a browser helper object (BHO) with Internet Explorer installed on participants’ computers to log all their web browser activities over the course of a week.

Melanie Kellar, Dalhousie University

Melanie Kellar is a PhD student in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University. Her research interests are in the area of information seeking behaviour on the Web, web browser tools, and methodologies for studying user behaviour on the Web. Her thesis research is focusing on a predictive task model for information seeking behaviour on the Web. As part of her research, Melanie developed a custom web browser and logged all participant interactions with the browser during a recent field study.

Don Turnbull, University of Texas at Austin

Don Turnbull is an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. Don's teaching and research focuses on designing Web information architectures, information systems analysis, Information Retrieval and Knowledge Management Systems. Don continues to consult with industry, currently involving Semantic Web development including Web search design and Web analytics. He received his doctorate from the University of Toronto focusing on Knowledge Discovery (Data Mining) for Informetric and Behavioral Models of Web Use.

Last Updated: Tue Apr 11 00:52:13 ADT 2006