Machine Learning for Targeted Display Advertising: Transfer Learning in Action

21 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2013

See all articles by C. Perlich

C. Perlich

affiliation not provided to SSRN

B. Dalessandro

affiliation not provided to SSRN

O. Stitelman

affiliation not provided to SSRN

T. Raeder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Foster Provost

New York University

Date Written: June 2013

Abstract

This paper presents a detailed discussion of problem formulation and data representation issues in the design, deployment, and operation of a massive-scale machine learning system for targeted display advertising. Notably, the machine learning system itself is deployed and has been in continual use for years, for thousands of advertising campaigns (in contrast to simply having the models from the system be deployed). In this application, acquiring sufficient data for training from the ideal sampling distribution is prohibitively expensive. Instead, data are drawn from surrogate domains and learning tasks, and then transferred to the target task. We present the design of this multistage transfer learning system, highlighting the problem formulation aspects. We then present a detailed experimental evaluation, showing that the different transfer stages indeed each add value. We next present production results across a variety of advertising clients from a variety of industries, illustrating the performance of the system in use. We close the paper with a collection of lessons learned from the work over half a decade on this complex, deployed, and broadly used machine learning system.

Suggested Citation

Perlich, C. and Dalessandro, B. and Stitelman, O. and Raeder, T. and Provost, Foster, Machine Learning for Targeted Display Advertising: Transfer Learning in Action (June 2013). NYU Working Paper No. 2451/31829. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2221761

C. Perlich (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

B. Dalessandro

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

O. Stitelman

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

T. Raeder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Foster Provost

New York University ( email )

44 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

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