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Attribution Modeling Increases Efficiency of Bidding in Display Advertising

Eustache Diemert, Julien Meynet (Criteo Research), Damien Lefortier (Facebook), Pierre Galland (Criteo)

Predicting click and conversion probabilities when bidding on ad exchanges is at the core of the programmatic advertising industry. Two separated lines of previous works respectively address i) the prediction of user conversion probability and ii) the attribution of these conversions to advertising events (such as clicks) after the fact. We argue that attribution modeling improves the efficiency of the bidding policy in the context of performance advertising. Firstly we explain the inefficiency of the standard bidding policy with respect to attribution. Secondly we learn and utilize an attribu- tion model in the bidder itself and show how it modifies the average bid after a click. Finally we produce evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed method on both offline and online experiments with data spanning several weeks of real traffic from Criteo, a leader in performance advertising.