Timothy C. Au
Quantitative AnalystGoogle Inc
Topics in Computational Advertising
Computational advertising is an emerging scientific discipline that incorporates tools and ideas from fields such as statistics, computer science, and economics. Although a consequence of the rapid growth of the Internet, computational advertising has since helped transform the online advertising business into a multi-billion dollar industry. The fundamental goal of computational advertising is to determine the "best'' online ad to display to any given user. This "best'' ad, however, changes depending upon the specific context that is under consideration. This leads to a variety of different problems, three of which are discussed in this thesis. Chapter 1 briefly introduces the topics of online advertising and computational advertising. Chapter 2 proposes a numerical method to approximate the pure strategy Nash equilibrium bidding functions in an independent private value first-price sealed-bid auction where bidders draw their types from continuous and atomless distributions---a setting in which solutions cannot generally be analytically derived, despite the fact that they are known to exist and to be unique. Chapter 3 proposes a cross-domain recommender system that is a multiple-domain extension of the Bayesian Probabilistic Matrix Factorization model. Chapter 4 discuss some of the tools and challenges of text mining by using the Trayvon Martin shooting incident as a case study in analyzing the lexical content and network connectivity structure of the political blogosphere. Finally, Chapter 5 presents some concluding remarks and briefly discusses other problems in computational advertising.