Predicting popular videos in online social networks (OSNs) is important for network traffic engineering and video recommendation. In order to avoid the difficulty of acquiring all OSN usersâ activities, recent studies try to predict popular media contents in OSNs only based on a very small number of users, referred to as experts. However, these studies simply treat all usersâ diffusion actions as the same. Based on large-scale video diffusion traces collected from a popular OSN, we analyze the positions of usersâ video sharing actions in the propagation graph, and classify usersâ video sharing actions into three different types, i.e., initiator actions, spreader actions and follower actions. Surprisingly, while existing studies mainly focus on the initiators, our empirical studies suggest that the spreaders actually play a more important role in the diffusion process of popular videos. Motivated by this finding, we account for the position information of sharing actions to select initiator experts, spreader experts and follower experts, based on corresponding sharing actions. We conduct experiments on the collected dataset to evaluate the performance of these three types of experts in predicting popular videos. The evaluation results demonstrate that the spreader experts can not only make more accurate predictions than initiator experts and follower experts, but also outperform the general experts selected by existing studies.
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