Probabilistic Machine Learning in Computational Advertising

author: Thore Graepel, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, Microsoft Research
published: Jan. 19, 2010,   recorded: December 2009,   views: 18704


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In the past years online advertising has grown at least an order of magnitude faster than advertising on all other media. This talk focuses on advertising on search engines, where accurate predictions of the probability that a user clicks on an advertisement crucially benefit all three parties involved: the user, the advertiser, and the search engine. We present a Bayesian probabilistic classification model that has the ability to learn from terabytes of web usage data. The model explicitly represents uncertainty allowing for fully probabilistic predictions: 2 positives out of 10 instances or 200 out of 1000 both give an average of 20%, but in the first case the uncertainty about the prediction should be larger. We also present a scheme for approximate parallel inference that allows efficient training of the algorithm on a distributed data architecture.

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