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Submitted on
January 24, 2012


36,482 (1 today)
103 (who?)

Popular results for Browse

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 5:00 PM by Heidi:iconheidi:

:bulletblue:  Something for Everyone

The deviantART community is incredibly deep and diverse.  Every day, amazing art is produced that appeals to all tastes.  Our goal in sharing and exposing the deviations in deviantART's Popular section is to showcase this depth and diversity as convincingly and fairly as we can.

:bulletblue:  Fair Exposure

DeviantART's algorithm for Popular browse results is known as Fair Exposure.  The goal is to maximize the display of the most popular deviations in a variety of topics (styles/genres/art forms).  Fair Exposure increases the probability that someone will see something that they personally like in Popular results.  In short, with Fair Exposure, the community is exposed to a varied cross-section of deviantART.  It uses an algorithm that is "fair" in nature -- meaning not biased toward any topic, yet still based on popularity.

:bulletblue:  Why is Fair Exposure needed?

Ranking deviations based on raw popularity alone is something that deviantART hasn't done since 2008.  While using raw numbers has some benefits, it also has many problems.  One major issue is that it inherently favors the already popular -- making that which is popular more likely to be seen, gaining even more popularity.  

Different styles and types of art appeal to different deviants, and those deviants use the Favourites system in different ways.  For example, fan art enthusiasts are more likely to Favourite a deviation based on subject, whereas, fine art photography lovers are more likely to Favourite based on technique.  Thus, comparing the number of Favourites on one type of a deviation to another is like comparing apples to oranges.  

Fair Exposure's task is to strike a balance between showcasing depth (i.e. deviations that are popular with many individual deviants) and breadth (i.e. deviations that are popular with a wide variety of deviantART sub-communities).  We do this with an algorithm, the components of which are adjusted from time to time to produce an inherently fair outcome in terms of art that would be of interest to the broadest spectrum of deviants.

:bulletblue:  Fair Exposure 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1

Version 1.0 of Fair Exposure was launched in February 2008, and the next set of updates (2.0) came in December 2011.  Fair Exposure 1.0's computation became slower and slower with every deviation added to deviantART.  While it executed in a reasonable amount of time in 2008, it was no longer updating fast enough for the front page.  However, Fair Exposure 2.0's computation was structured differently and was faster.

While Fair Exposure 2.0 had been in development for quite a while, some of our more sophisticated ideas weren't able to make it into the initial release.  The changes in Fair Exposure 2.1, made in January 2012, are very minor -- mostly code reorganization, and a few bug fixes that addressed rare edge cases that sometimes influenced front page results.  We know this new version of Fair Exposure is a better representation of the world-class art produced by the deviantART community.    

We have a variety of improvements coming down the pipeline -- in particular, improvements having to do with topic "accuracy" (i.e. becoming better at detecting the topics of a deviation) and "popularity" (i.e. detecting whether a deviation is "popular" amongst a niche group or has broader appeal).    

Fair Exposure 2.1 is not inherently more "random" than Fair Exposure 1.0 was. The most significant determinate of order is still in deviants' submission/viewing/Favouriting patterns in general.  Similarly, all determinations of popularity are made by looking at the data, with no artificial fudge factors biasing towards one topic or away from another.  In particular, it does not replace art from a "popular" deviant (or topic) with art from a randomly-selected "unpopular" deviant.  Fair Exposure 2.1 explicitly attempts to select "popular" deviations that showcase as many "popular" topics as possible, whereas, in Fair Exposure 1.0, there was no explicit goal to showcase a wide variety of topics.   This does mean that if, for example, a deviation that showcases "people" and "photography" is displayed, the next several deviations are unlikely to be other "people" or "photography" deviations, unless they are also extremely popular.

:bulletblue:  Sharing the Love

Changes to Fair Exposure and Popular browse are in the interest of highlighting the best from a wide range of deviants and showcasing an array of styles and genres. Keep in mind that you can always browse by your particular interest using the category tree or join a group that matches your interests. We're a large community, and with Fair Exposure 2.1, we hope to bring more deviants into the spotlight.


Add a Comment:
StarchehFelixx3 Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
We get that they are trying to recognize unknown artists, But some people aren't even artists! Theres nothing to see on the Popular page which makes me have to log out, look at deviantations then log back in and find it. Its such an anoying processssss GAAAAAAAAAAH. Please return the old system.
shaman-art Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm confused about the results of the search. Were there any changes made recently? Because I don't get the logic behind the results.

I was looking for "Popular All Time" deviations. A deviation from 2008 with Comments: 36 // Favourites: 382 // Views: 10,565 is ranked higher than for example one that was posted in 2010 with Comments: 309 // Favourites: 829 // Views: 12,121.


HelpDesk answer: "The main gallery of deviantART has for sometime now been showing you a special browsing mode. This new browsing feature is called "Fair Exposure"...

I asked again: "I'm sorry, but that doesn't answer my question. There have to be some changes within the last week. I noticed it - and others did too. You might have a look at the forum. There's a thread about this subject.
I noticed it, because several of my deviations and some of my friend's were listed on the first result page. From one day to the next, some have vanished completely while others dropped down at least 10 or more places. We did not have any sudden activities. Neither of us got suddenly lots of comments or favs. We always used the same keywords for the search.

And again: How can a deviation that got more comments and more favs and more views be more popular than one that's two years older with less comments+favs+views? I point back to my original question. I you think it helps I can send you a screenshot of the old resultes compared to the ones I get now.
Also the results of the search jumped back between the old and the new constellation several times in the last few days. That means to me that there either is a bug somewhere or something was changed."

Help Desk: "Fair exposure is constantly evolving dependant on popular deviations. I assure you nothing has 'changed' in the way this works it is just making way for other deviations to be considered as popular. "

Sorry guys. This is stupid. You either have no idea what you're talking about or you think a lot of users here are blind or stupid.
When I read the comments here, a lot of people are everything but satisfied!
bib993 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If 2 deviations are both in the 8 hours and 24 hours most popular, how come deviation 1 can be better in the 8 hours category, and deviation 2 better in the 24 hours category? wouldn't it make sense to maintain relative ranking across categories?
austheke Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012   Writer
A good friend messaged me the other day, thrilled beyond belief because she'd spotted some of my writing on the first page of the "Most Popular of All Time" for the Literature section. (Clearly, I have lovely friends.) It's cool, yes, but I had suspicions because that one piece of mine really hadn't gotten much (comparatively) in the way of views, comments, or favorites.

So I did some searching and arrived here. After reading this article, I'm not sure whether I should be sad because my being featured on the first page is the result of an artificial equation spitting out my relatively unpopular work to diversify the Popular page.

Do I actually have anything to brag about? Do I have to tell my friend "sorry, but I'm not actually awesome, dA just needs me for the sake of 'Fair Exposure'"? I'm confused, especially about how this applies to the Literature sections.
Sarah-BK Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Because of this system, every time a picture of a girls half exposed ass/breasts gets 13k views by all the guys who find that amusing, I'm forced to scroll past at least 10 every time I dig among the supposed "top works" submitted over the last few hours/days.

I barely ever find something I like in the first few 10s of deviations..
Farewell-Spring Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why don't you guys just do it like it was years ago: [link] with the different sections?one for newest, one for popular and one for fair exposure and people could click on "browse" and view more from that section. :shrug: Just an idea.
Spirit-Candy Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013
^ I like this person. Personally, the main (and often only) reason that I search terms in the DeviantArt search section, is to find top professional quality art for inspiration, and so that I can learn from their techniques.

With this new "Fair Exposure" implemented on all of the search options, not only is it hard to find top professional quality deviations, but sometimes I have pages of deviations that are all by the same artist who has done several deviations of one particular character (for example when I search for the term "Wolf Warrior"). This would be fine if I liked their stuff and I was looking in their gallery, but I had to look through about 3+ pages before most of their stuff disappeared. Apart from anything, I don't think showing 3 pages of one persons work is very fair anyway.

Now finding high quality deviations using specific terms (like "Wolf Warrior") is very hard, and I am having to find my inspiration from elsewhere. It would be great if the Fair Exposure could be separated from the Popular so people can browse as they choose.
Beavisjr Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012
I liked the 1.0; but the 2.0 was a bit confusing at first and the 2.1 is okay cause the bugs are fixed and things; but i miss the randomization.
DestinyBlue Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional
Just wanted to express my gratitude at the change from 'Fair Exposure 2.1' to raw popularity results which happened today. Hopefully this came about from you guys listening to community concerns, it actually seems a lot fairer this way :)

It's great to see what's actually popular being in the 'popular' tab again. Now I look forward to having the 'underappreciated' tab come along, which there has been so much clamor for; so I can find those rough diamonds that need some love too!

I'm hoping it's a permanent change, can I get some feedback on whether it will be?
Thank you :heart:
conzpiracy Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Very very bad move. In order to appeal to the pre-teens, youve disenfranchised your core content creators. The new algorithm is chaos, as an art-appreciator I can no longer seek out the best of the month for my visual research.

There's nothing wrong with meritocratic ratings, if people desire more exposure - they should simply improve technique and networking like the rest of us did.
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