2.9. Session Identification

As we saw in the above discussion, characterizing the user behavior hinges on being able to identify user sessions. Remember that a session is a sequence of consecutive requests from the same customer during the same visit to an e-commerce site. There are two relevant issues to be discussed with respect to this definition:

  1. How does one identify requests as coming from the same customer?

  2. How does one determine if requests coming from the same customer belong to the same or to a different session?

Before we answer the above questions, it is important to remember that HTTP is a stateless protocol. This means that the HTTP server does not store information about a request after that request has been serviced. Even though ...

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