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Markov models have been widely used to represent and analyze user Web navigation data. In previous work, we have proposed a method to dynamically extend the order of a Markov chain model and a complimentary method for assessing the predictive power of such a variable-length Markov chain. Herein, we review these two methods and propose a novel method for measuring the ability of a variable-length Markov model to summarize user Web navigation sessions up to a given length. Although the summarization ability of a model is important to enable the identification of user navigation patterns, the ability to make predictions is important in order to foresee the next link choice of a user after following a given trail so as, for example, to personalize a Web site. We present an extensive experimental evaluation providing strong evidence that prediction accuracy increases linearly with summarization ability.
Web mining, navigation, Markov processes, modeling and prediction.

M. Levene and J. Borges, "Evaluating Variable-Length Markov Chain Models for Analysis of User Web Navigation Sessions," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 19, no. , pp. 441-452, 2007.
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