Exploring Trends and Patterns of Popularity Stage Evolution in Social Media

Qingchao Kong, Wenji Mao, Guandan Chen, Daniel Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The popularity of online contents in social media frequently experiences ebb and flow, and thus its evolution often involves different stages, such as burst and valley. Exploring the patterns of popularity evolution, especially how burst forms and decays, and even further, predicting the trends of popularity evolution is both an important research topic and beneficial to support decision making for many applications, such as emergency management, business intelligence, and public security. Previous work on popularity prediction has focused on predicting the popularity volume of online contents, and at most, popularity burst and ignored the exploration of popularity evolution and the prediction of its stages. To fill this gap, in this paper, we propose our method for the popularity stage prediction problem both at the microscopic level and macroscopic level. At the microscopic level, we first extract multiple dynamic factors and infer future evolution stage by considering the contributions of different dynamic factors. At the macroscopic level, we extract the overall evolution patterns of popularity stages and adopt a pattern matching-based method to predict future popularity stages. We evaluate the proposed approach using tweets in SinaWeibo, the most popular Twitter-like social media platform in China. The experimental results show the effectiveness of our proposed approach in predicting popularity evolution stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8428538
Pages (from-to)3817-3827
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Online contents
  • popularity evolution
  • popularity stage prediction (PSP)
  • social media analytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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