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Title: Discovering user intent in e-commerce clickstreams
Author: Sheil, Humphrey
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 179X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2019
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E-commerce has revolutionised how we browse and purchase products and services globally. However, with revolution comes disruption as retailers and users struggle to keep up with the pace of change. Retailers are increasingly using a varied number of machine learning techniques in areas such as information retrieval, user interface design, product catalogue curation and sentiment analysis, all of which must operate at scale and in near real-time. Understanding user purchase intent is important for a number of reasons. Buyers typically represent < 5% of all e-commerce users, but contribute virtually all of the retailer profit. Merchants can cost-effectively target measures such as discounting, special offers or enhanced advertising at a buyer cohort - something that would be cost prohibitive if applied to all users. We used supervised classic machine learning and deep learning models to infer user purchase intent from their clickstreams. Our contribution is three-fold: first we conducted a detailed analysis of explicit features showing that four broad feature classes enable a classic model to infer user intent. Second, we constructed a deep learning model which recovers over 98% of the predictive power of a state-of-the-art approach. Last, we show that a standard word language deep model is not optimal for e-commerce clickstream analysis and propose a combined sampling and hidden state management strategy to improve the performance of deep models in the e-commerce domain. We also propose future work in order to build on the results obtained.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available