An evaluation framework for personalization strategy experiment designs

C. H. Bryan Liu and Emma J. McCoy

Online Controlled Experiments (OCEs) are the gold standard in evaluating the effectiveness of changes to websites. An important type of OCE evaluates different personalization strategies, which present challenges in low test power and lack of full control in group assignment. We argue that getting the right experiment setup --- the allocation of users to treatment/analysis groups --- should take precedence of post-hoc variance reduction techniques in order to enable the scaling of the number of experiments. We present an evaluation framework that, along with a few rule of thumbs, allow experimenters to quickly compare which experiment setup will lead to the highest probability of detecting a treatment effect under their particular circumstance.

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