Online advertising is now one of the fastest advancing areas in IT industry. In display and mobile advertising, the most significant development in recent years is the growth of Real-Time Bidding (RTB), which allows selling and buying online display advertising in real-time one ad impression at a time. Since then, RTB has fundamentally changed the landscape of the digital media market by scaling the buying process across a large number of available inventories. It also encourages behaviour (re-)targeting, and makes a significant shift toward buying focused on user data, rather than contextual data. A report from IDC shows that in 2011, global RTB based display ad spend increased by 237% compared to 2010, with the U.S.’s $2.2 billion RTB display spend leading the way. The market share of RTB-based spending of all display ad spending will grow from 10% in 2011 to 27% in 2016, and its share of all indirect spending will grow from 28% to 78%.
Scientifically, the further demand for automation, integration and optimization in RTB brings new research opportunities in the CIKM fields. For instance, the much enhanced flexibility of allowing advertisers and agencies to maximize impact of budgets by more optimised buys based on their own or 3rd party (user) data makes the online advertising market a step closer to the financial markets, where unification and interconnection are strongly promoted. The unification and interconnections across webpages, advertisers, and users require significant research on knowledge management, data mining, information retrieval, behaviour targeting and their links to game theory, economics and optimization.
Despite its rapid growth and huge potential, many aspects of RTB remain unknown to the research community for a variety of reasons. In this tutorial, teamed up with presenters from both the industry and academia, we aim to bring the insightful knowledge from the real-world systems, to bridge the gaps between industry and academia, and to provide an overview of the fundamental infrastructure, algorithms, and technical and research challenges of the new frontier of computational advertising.