Saturday, May 30, 2009

Price Negotiations for Ads

In Applied Algorithms Research, you look at a system up close, a problem pops out that baffles standard formulations, and you need to turn it around in your head a few times.

In an example, two sets of parties negotiate in a two-sided market over multiple rounds; a market runner observes, and wishes to make negotiations more efficient without significantly modifying the system. How should the market runner propose prices, ie., provide pricing guidance, to help the negotiations along? Google's PrintAds system is a marketplace for ads that appear in print in newspapers and magazines where the market runner faces this question, and there are some game-theoretic nuances. Here is a paper (joint work with Adam Juda and Ashish Rastogi) that describes the issues and solutions, an attempt at summarizing our insights from 1.5 years of running the system.

In Applied Research, you have a mission. We had one, we wanted to help save the newspaper ad business. Well, the mission remains.



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