Behavioral Profiles for Advanced Email Features

Presented at: 18th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2009)

by Thomas Karagiannis, Milan Vojnovic


We examine the behavioral patterns of email usage in a large-scale enterprise over a three-month period. In particular, we focus on two main questions: (Q1) what do replies depend on? and (Q2) what is the gain of augmenting contacts through the friends of friends from the email social graph? For Q1, we identify and evaluate the significance of several factors that affect the reply probability and the email response time. We find that all factors of our considered set are significant, provide their relative ordering, and identify the recipient list size, and the intensity of email communication between the correspondents as the dominant factors. We highlight various novel threshold behaviors and provide support for existing hypotheses such as that of the least-effort reply. For Q2, we find that the number of new contacts extracted from the friends-of-friends relationships amounts to a large number, but which is still a limited portion of the total enterprise size. We believe that our results provide significant insights towards informed design of advanced email features, including those of social-networking type. Categories & Subject Descriptors: H.4.3 [Communications Applications]: Electronic mail General Terms: Design, Measurement, Human Factors Keywords: Reply time, reply probability, email profiles.

Keywords: Social Networks and Web 2.0

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