Forecasting Popularity of Videos using Social Media

22 Mar 2014  ·  Jie Xu, Mihaela van der Schaar, Jiangchuan Liu, Haitao Li ·

This paper presents a systematic online prediction method (Social-Forecast) that is capable to accurately forecast the popularity of videos promoted by social media. Social-Forecast explicitly considers the dynamically changing and evolving propagation patterns of videos in social media when making popularity forecasts, thereby being situation and context aware. Social-Forecast aims to maximize the forecast reward, which is defined as a tradeoff between the popularity prediction accuracy and the timeliness with which a prediction is issued. The forecasting is performed online and requires no training phase or a priori knowledge. We analytically bound the prediction performance loss of Social-Forecast as compared to that obtained by an omniscient oracle and prove that the bound is sublinear in the number of video arrivals, thereby guaranteeing its short-term performance as well as its asymptotic convergence to the optimal performance. In addition, we conduct extensive experiments using real-world data traces collected from the videos shared in RenRen, one of the largest online social networks in China. These experiments show that our proposed method outperforms existing view-based approaches for popularity prediction (which are not context-aware) by more than 30% in terms of prediction rewards.

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