Sunday, October 17, 2010


NIPS 2010 Workshop on Machine Learning in Online ADvertising (MLOAD), December 10, 2010, Whistler, B.C. Canada

IMPORTANT DATES: Submission deadline: Oct. 23, 2010 Notification of Acceptance: Nov. 11, 2010 Camera ready: Nov. 22, 2010 Workshop Date: Dec. 10, 2010.

Online advertising, a form of advertising that utilizes the Internet and World Wide Web to deliver marketing messages and attract customers, has seen exponential growth since its inception over 15 years ago, resulting in a $65 billion market worldwide in 2008; it has been pivotal to the success of the World Wide Web. This success has arisen largely from the transformation of the advertising industry from a low-tech, human intensive, “Mad Men” (ref. HBO TV Series) way of doing work (that were common place for much of the 20th century and the early days of online advertising) to highly optimized, mathematical, machine learning-centric processes (some of which have been adapted from Wall Street) that form the backbone of many current online advertising systems.

The dramatic growth of online advertising poses great challenges to the machine learning research community and calls for new technologies to be developed. Online advertising is a complex problem, especially from machine learning point of view. It contains multiple parties (i.e., advertisers, users, publishers, and ad platforms such as ad exchanges), which interact with each other harmoniously but exhibit a conflict of interest when it comes to risk and revenue objectives. It is highly dynamic in terms of the rapid change of user information needs, non-stationary bids of advertisers, and the frequent modifications of ads campaigns. It is very large scale, with billions of keywords, tens of millions of ads, billions of users, millions of advertisers where events such as clicks and actions can be extremely rare. In addition, the field lies at intersection of machine learning, economics, optimization, distributed systems and information science all very advanced and complex fields in their own right. For such a complex problem, conventional machine learning technologies and evaluation methodologies are not be sufficient, and the development of new algorithms and theories is sorely needed.

The goal of this workshop is to overview the state of the art in online advertising, and to discuss future directions and challenges in research and development, from a machine learning point of view. We expect the workshop to help develop a community of researchers who are interested in this area, and yield future collaboration and exchanges.


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