Modeling dynamics of online video popularity

Jiqiang Wu, Yipeng Zhou, Dah Ming Chiu, Zirong Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Video popularity (measured by view count) over time is an essential reference for both online video providers and users. According to state-of-the-art works, video popularity is useful for system optimization, load generation, video caching, and video recommendation. Thus, deeper understanding of video popularity evolution is very helpful for improving video service quality and providers' operating efficiency. The core question to be explored in this paper is what key factors govern online video popularity evolution? Through collaboration with our industry partner, Tencent Video, we obtain historical data of video view counts over a period of time, and observe their patterns. We then propose a stochastic fluid model, named as EvoModel, which captures two processes giving rise to different evolution patterns of a given video: (a) the information spreading process and (b) the user reaction process. The driving forces for process (a) can be either via recommendation from the system directly, or word-of-mouth; the extent of the spread is governed by the intrinsic popularity of the video. The factor affecting the second process can be modeled by a user reaction rate. These processes together determine different video popularity evolution patterns. We validate our model by fitting the historical data obtained from a real-world system. Furthermore, we discuss the feasibility of estimating model parameters and predicting popularity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1882-1895
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Multimedia
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic video popularity
  • information spreading
  • popularity prediction
  • user reaction


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