Multi-Armed Bandit Mechanisms for Multi-Slot Sponsored Search Auctions [article]

Akash Das Sarma, Sujit Gujar, Y. Narahari
2010 arXiv   pre-print
In pay-per click sponsored search auctions which are currently extensively used by search engines, the auction for a keyword involves a certain number of advertisers (say k) competing for available slots (say m) to display their ads. This auction is typically conducted for a number of rounds (say T). There are click probabilities mu_ij associated with each agent-slot pairs. The goal of the search engine is to maximize social welfare of the advertisers, that is, the sum of values of the
more » ... rs. The search engine does not know the true values advertisers have for a click to their respective ads and also does not know the click probabilities mu_ij s. A key problem for the search engine therefore is to learn these click probabilities during the T rounds of the auction and also to ensure that the auction mechanism is truthful. Mechanisms for addressing such learning and incentives issues have recently been introduced and are aptly referred to as multi-armed-bandit (MAB) mechanisms. When m = 1, characterizations for truthful MAB mechanisms are available in the literature and it has been shown that the regret for such mechanisms will be O(T^2/3). In this paper, we seek to derive a characterization in the realistic but non-trivial general case when m > 1 and obtain several interesting results.
arXiv:1001.1414v2 fatcat:qh4755usdvdvjml2yrr6szed2i