- We have performed first-order reversal-curve measurements of the temperature-driven metal-insulator transition in VO2 thin films, which enable quantitative analysis of the hysteresis behavior. An unexpected tail-like feature in the contour plot of the reversal-curve distribution indicates the existence of metallic domains, even at temperatures below the closing of the hysteresis. These domains interact with the surrounding medium and change the reversal path relative to a path from a fully insulating state. With this in mind, and assuming that such interaction persist through the entire phase transition, we develop a model where the driving force (or energy barrier) in charge of opening a hysteresis in VO2 are interdomain interactions. This model is intrinsically different from the Preisach model usually used to describe hysteresis; given that it looks for the microscopic origin of the hysteresis, and provides physical parameters to characterize it.