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Volume 22 / Issue 3

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-022-03-0416


Fuzzy Modeling of User Behaviors and Virtual Goods Purchases in Social Networking Platforms

Jarosław Jankowski (Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poland)

Kostas Kolomvatsos (The University of Thessaly, Greece)

Przemysław Kazienko (Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poland)

Jarosław Wątróbski (West Pomeranian University of Technology, Poland)

Abstract: An important aspect of managing social platforms, online games and virtual worlds is the analysis of user characteristics related to subscriptions and virtual goods purchases. The results of such a process could be adopted in decision support applications that build on top of users' behavior provide efficient strategies for the virtual world's management. One of the research questions in this area is related to the factors affecting purchases and their relation to the activity within social networks as well as the ability to use past data to make reasoning about future behaviors. Complex online systems are hard to analyze when adopting legacy methodologies due to the huge amount of data generated by users' activity and changes in their behavior over time. In this paper, we discuss an analysis of the characteristics of users performing purchases for virtual products. We adopt a Neuro-Fuzzy system which has the ability to process data under uncertainty towards better decisions related to parameterization of the virtual retail system. The proposed Fuzzy Logic (FL) inference model focuses on the analysis of purchases based on the types of past transactions and social activity as inputs. The proposed system results values for specific parameters affecting/depicting users’ behavior like own purchases, gifting and virtual products usage as output. Our results could be adopted for decision support of online platform operators and show the relations between less and more experienced users in terms of frequency and value of purchases, engagement with the use of virtual goods and gifting behaviors. Models based on the social activity with distinguished inbound and outbound social connections show increased interest in virtual goods among users with a higher number of inbound connections as a possible tool for building social position.

Keywords: decision support, fuzzy modeling, social networks, user behavior, virtual goods

Categories: H.4, H.5.1, I.2.1, M.4, M.8