Journal of Computer Science and Technology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 234–252 | Cite as

A Cost-Efficient Approach to Storing Users’ Data for Online Social Networks

  • Jing-Ya ZhouEmail author
  • Jian-Xi Fan
  • Cheng-Kuan Lin
  • Bao-Lei Cheng
Regular Paper


As users increasingly befriend others and interact online via their social media accounts, online social networks (OSNs) are expanding rapidly. Confronted with the big data generated by users, it is imperative that data storage be distributed, scalable, and cost-efficient. Yet one of the most significant challenges about this topic is determining how to minimize the cost without deteriorating system performance. Although many storage systems use the distributed key value store, it cannot be directly applied to OSN storage systems. And because users’ data are highly correlated, hash storage leads to frequent inter-server communications, and the high inter-server traffic costs decrease the OSN storage system’s scalability. Previous studies proposed conducting network partitioning and data replication based on social graphs. However, data replication increases storage costs and impacts traffic costs. Here, we consider how to minimize costs from the perspective of data storage, by combining partitioning and replication. Our cost-efficient data storage approach supports scalable OSN storage systems. The proposed approach co-locates frequently interactive users together by conducting partitioning and replication simultaneously while meeting load-balancing constraints. Extensive experiments are undertaken on two realworld traces, and the results show that our approach achieves lower cost compared with state-of-the-art approaches. Thus we conclude that our approach enables economic and scalable OSN data storage.


online social network inter-server traffic cost storage cost network partitioning data replication 


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We thank the anonymous reviewers and editors for their valuable suggestions that help to improve the presentation of the paper.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing-Ya Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jian-Xi Fan
    • 1
  • Cheng-Kuan Lin
    • 1
  • Bao-Lei Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer Science and TechnologySoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  2. 2.Provincial Key Laboratory for Computer Information Processing TechnologySoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  3. 3.Collaborative Innovation Center of Novel Software Technology and IndustrializationNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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