Stratified analysis of AOL query log

Characterizing user's intent and behaviour while using a retrieval information tool (e.g. a search engine) is a key question on web research, as it hold the keys to know how the users interact, what they are expecting and how we can provide them information in the most beneficial way. Previous research has focused on identifying the average characteristics of user interactions. This paper proposes a stratified method for analyzing query logs that groups queries and sessions according to their hit frequency and analyzes the characteristics of each group in order to find how representative the average values are. Findings show that behaviours typically associated with the average user do not fit in most of the aforementioned groups.