Daniel Suo

Scientific progress goes 'boink'

Ph.D. Candidate
Princeton University
Department of Computer Science

SVE: Distributed Video Processing at Facebook Scale

(link) Qi Huang, Petchean Ang, Peter Knowles, Tomasz Nykiel, Iaroslav Tverdokhlib, Amit Yajurvedi, Paul Dapolito IV, Xifan Yan, Maxim Bykov, Chuen Liang, Mohit Talwar, Abhishek Mathur, Sachin Kulkarni (Facebook); Matthew Burke (University of Southern California; Facebook; Cornell); Wyatt Lloyd (University of Southern California; Facebook; Princeton)

Main idea

  • What is the problem? Facebook processes enormous numbers of videos each day and must make those available as quickly as possible with as much flexibility for processing (e.g., computer vision algorithms) as possible
  • Why is it important? Videos are increasingly defining the online experience, but can be quite complex to process at scale
  • What is the approach? See Figure 2. Exploit inherent parallelism in video data to process and store chunks of video while uploading (pipelining)
  • What is the result? All of Facebook video data is processed by this system and developers can create new processing stages or paths for video easily


  • The challenge appears to be scale and robustness, not necessarily algorithm or design. There are many corner cases to consider.


Extension ideas

  • How can we modify this infrastructure to support real-time (i.e., live video or even deadlines)?