User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction

, Volume 22, Issue 1–2, pp 151–175

Discovery of Web user communities and their role in personalization

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11257-011-9111-y

Cite this article as:
Paliouras, G. User Model User-Adap Inter (2012) 22: 151. doi:10.1007/s11257-011-9111-y


One of the major innovations in personalization in the last 20 years was the injection of social knowledge into the model of the user. The user is not considered an isolated individual any more, but a member of one or more communities. User communities have been facilitated by the striking advancements of electronic communications and in particular the penetration of the Web into people’s everyday routine. Communities arise in a number of different ways. Social networking tools typically allow users to proactively connect to each other. Alternatively, data mining tools discover communities of connected Web sites or communities of Web users. In this article, we focus on the latter type of community, which is commonly mined from logs of users’ activity on the Web. We recall how this process has been used to model the users’ interests and personalize Web applications. Collaborative filtering and recommendation are the most widely used forms of community-driven personalization. However, we examine a range of other interesting alternatives that are worth investigating further. This effort leads us naturally to the recent developments on the Web and particularly the advent of the social Web. We explain how this development draws together the different viewpoints on Web communities and introduces new opportunities for community-based personalization. In particular, we propose the concept of active user community and show how this relates to recent efforts on mining social networks and social media.


User communities Web mining Web personalization Web communities Social networks 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Informatics and TelecommunicationsNational Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”AttikiGreece

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