Learning to Advertise for Organic Traffic Maximization in E-Commerce Product Feeds [article]

Dagui Chen, Junqi Jin, Weinan Zhang, Fei Pan, Lvyin Niu, Chuan Yu, Jun Wang, Han Li, Jian Xu, Kun Gai
2019 arXiv   pre-print
Most e-commerce product feeds provide blended results of advertised products and recommended products to consumers. The underlying advertising and recommendation platforms share similar if not exactly the same set of candidate products. Consumers' behaviors on the advertised results constitute part of the recommendation model's training data and therefore can influence the recommended results. We refer to this process as Leverage. Considering this mechanism, we propose a novel perspective that
more » ... dvertisers can strategically bid through the advertising platform to optimize their recommended organic traffic. By analyzing the real-world data, we first explain the principles of Leverage mechanism, i.e., the dynamic models of Leverage. Then we introduce a novel Leverage optimization problem and formulate it with a Markov Decision Process. To deal with the sample complexity challenge in model-free reinforcement learning, we propose a novel Hybrid Training Leverage Bidding (HTLB) algorithm which combines the real-world samples and the emulator-generated samples to boost the learning speed and stability. Our offline experiments as well as the results from the online deployment demonstrate the superior performance of our approach.
arXiv:1908.06698v1 fatcat:tfyzmopvxngszaeijwjuegjmiu