Multimodal Deep Learning Framework for Image Popularity Prediction on Social Media

Fatma S. Abousaleh, Wen Huang Cheng, Neng Hao Yu, Yu Tsao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Billions of photos are uploaded to the web daily through various types of social networks. Some of these images receive millions of views and become popular, whereas others remain completely unnoticed. This raises the problem of predicting image popularity on social media. The popularity of an image can be affected by several factors, such as visual content, aesthetic quality, user, post metadata, and time. Thus, considering all these factors is essential for accurately predicting image popularity. In addition, the efficiency of the predictive model also plays a crucial role. In this study, motivated by multimodal learning, which uses information from various modalities, and the current success of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) in various fields, we propose a deep learning model, called visual-social convolutional neural network (VSCNN), which predicts the popularity of a posted image by incorporating various types of visual and social features into a unified network model. VSCNN first learns to extract high-level representations from the input visual and social features by utilizing two individual CNNs. The outputs of these two networks are then fused into a joint network to estimate the popularity score in the output layer. We assess the performance of the proposed method by conducting extensive experiments on a dataset of approximately 432K images posted on Flickr. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed VSCNN model significantly outperforms state-of-the-art models, with a relative improvement of greater than 2.33 of Spearman’s Rho, mean absolute error, and mean squared error, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • convolutional neural networks
  • multimodal learning.
  • Popularity prediction
  • social media


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