An efficient framework for online advertising effectiveness measurement and comparison

Pengyuan Wang, Yechao Liu, Marsha Meytlis, Han-Yun Tsao, Jian Yang, Pei Huang
2014 Proceedings of the 7th ACM international conference on Web search and data mining - WSDM '14  
In online advertising market it is crucial to provide advertisers with a reliable measurement of advertising effectiveness to make better marketing campaign planning. The basic idea for ad effectiveness measurement is to compare the performance (e.g., success rate) among users who were and who were not exposed to a certain treatment of ads. When a randomized experiment is not available, a naive comparison can be biased because exposed and unexposed populations typically have different features.
more » ... One solid methodology for a fair comparison is to apply inverse propensity weighting with doubly robust estimation to the observational data. However the existing methods were not designed for the online advertising campaign, which usually suffers from huge volume of users, high dimensionality, high sparsity and imbalance. We propose an efficient framework to address these challenges in a real campaign circumstance. We utilize gradient boosting stumps for feature selection and gradient boosting trees for model fitting, and propose a subsampling-and-backscaling procedure that enables analysis on extremely sparse conversion data. The choice of features, models and feature selection scheme are validated with irrelevant conversion test. We further propose a parallel computing strategy, combined with the subsampling-and-backscaling procedure to reach computational efficiency. Our framework is applied to an online campaign involving millions of unique users, which shows substantially better model fitting and efficiency. Our framework can be further generalized to comparison of multiple treatments and more general treatment regimes, as sketched in the paper. Our framework is not limited to online advertising, but also applicable to other circumstances (e.g., social science) where a 'fair' comparison is needed with observational data.
doi:10.1145/2556195.2556235 dblp:conf/wsdm/WangLMTYH14 fatcat:ek7wuyzjgnftdiboepphwg3qwm