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Foundations and Challenges of Web Advertising

Time: Tuesday, May 8 (half-day, morning, 8:30am to noon)

Location: Theatre


This tutorial covers the science and the technology behind web advertising. Participants are expected to be familiar with the basics of web search and the elements of algorithms. During the course of the tutorial we will review the various forms of web advertising served up by advertising networks such as Google, MSN and Yahoo! We will then introduce the technical challenges and solutions for such problems as: given a user's search query, how do we determine which advertisement(s) to present? Of all the advertisers who wish to present their ads on a particular query, who should succeed? The solutions to these problems span the gamut from text mining and retrieval, to the theory of auctions and marketplaces. We conclude by discussing some of the ethical, legal and privacy challenges around the responsible use of data for web advertising.

Prerequisite Knowledge:

Elementary knowledge of web search engines and of algorithms


Ricardo Baeza-Yates is Director of Yahoo! Research Barcelona, Spain and Yahoo! Research Latin America at Santiago, Chile. Until 2005 he was the director of the Center for Web Research at the Department of Computer Science of the Engineering School of the University of Chile; and ICREA Professor at the Dept. of Technology of Univ. Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. He is co-author of the book Modern Information Retrieval, published in 1999 by Addison-Wesley, as well as co-author of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Algorithms and Data Structures, Addison-Wesley, 1991; and co-editor of Information Retrieval: Algorithms and Data Structures, Prentice-Hall, 1992, among more than 150 other publications. He has received the Organization of American States award for young researchers in exact sciences (1993) and with two Brazilian colleagues obtained the COMPAQ prize for the best CS Brazilian research article (1997). In 2003 he was the first computer scientist to be elected to the Chilean Academy of Sciences.

Andrei Z. Broder is a Yahoo! Research Fellow and VP for Emerging Search Technology. Previously he has been an IBM Distinguished Engineer and the CTO of the Institute for Search and Text Analysis in IBM Research. From 1999 until 2002 he was Vice President for Research and Chief Scientist at the AltaVista Company, and before this he was a senior member of the research staff at Compaq's Systems Research Center in Palo Alto. He was graduated Summa cum Laude from Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology, and obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University under Don Knuth. His main research interests are the design, analysis, and implementation of randomized algorithms and supporting data structures, in particular in the context of web-scale information retrieval and applications. Broder is co-winner of the Best Paper award at WWW6 (for his work on duplicate elimination of web pages) and at WWW9 (for his work on mapping the web). He has published more than seventy papers and was awarded twenty patents.

Prabhakar Raghavan is Head of Yahoo! Research, and Consulting Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His research interests include semistructured retrieval, text mining and randomized algorithms. He is Editor-in-chief of the Journal of the ACM and a Fellow of the ACM and of the IEEE. Raghavan holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from IIT in Madras.