Estimating Individual Advertising Effect in E-Commerce

11 Mar 2019  ·  Liu Hao, Li Yunze, Cao Qinyu, Qiu Guang, Chen Jiming ·

Online advertising has been the major monetization approach for Internet companies. Advertisers invest budgets to bid for real-time impressions to gain direct and indirect returns... Existing works have been concentrating on optimizing direct returns brought by advertising traffic. However, indirect returns induced by advertising traffic such as influencing the online organic traffic and offline mouth-to-mouth marketing provide extra significant motivation to advertisers. Modeling and quantization of causal effects between the overall advertising return and budget enable the advertisers to spend their money more judiciously. In this paper, we model the overall return as individual advertising effect in causal inference with multiple treatments and bound the expected estimation error with learnable factual loss and distance of treatment-specific context distributions. Accordingly, a representation and hypothesis network is used to minimize the loss bound. We apply the learned causal effect in the online bidding engine of an industry-level sponsored search system. Online experiments show that the causal inference based bidding outperforms the existing online bidding algorithm. read more

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Computer Science and Game Theory


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