User churn in focused question answering sites: Characterizations and prediction

Jagat Pudipeddi, Leman Akoglu, Hanghang Tong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

41 Scopus citations


Given a user on a Q&A site, how can we tell whether s/he is engaged with the site or is rather likely to leave? What are the most evidential factors that relate to users churning? Question and Answer (Q&A) sites form excellent repos- itories of collective knowledge. To make these sites self- sustainable and long-lasting, it is crucial to ensure that new users as well as the site veterans who provide most of the answers keep engaged with the site. As such, quantifying the engagement of users and preventing churn in Q&A sites are vital to improve the lifespan of these sites. We study a large data collection from to identify significant factors that correlate with newcomer user churn in the early stage and those that relate to veterans leaving in the later stage. We consider the problem under two settings: given (i) the first k posts, or (ii) first T days of activity of a user, we aim to identify evidential features to automatically classify users so as to spot those who are about to leave. We find that in both cases, the time gap between subsequent posts is the most significant indicator of diminishing interest of users, besides other indicative factors like answering speed, reputation of those who answer their questions, and number of answers received by the user.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWWW 2014 Companion - Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450327459
StatePublished - Apr 7 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2014 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Apr 7 2014Apr 11 2014

Publication series

NameWWW 2014 Companion - Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web


Other23rd International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2014
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • Churn prediction
  • Feature extraction
  • Q and A sites
  • User churn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

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