Papers from the Eighth ACM Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce 2007

From June 11th to June 15th, the ACM Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce (SIGECOM) held its eighth conference in San Diego, California.

There were a good number of accepted papers for the conference, and I was able to hunt a few of them down online.

Budget Optimization in Search-Based Advertising Auctions (pdf)
Cliff Stein from Columbia University; Jon Feldman, S. Muthukrishnan, and Martin Pal from Google

Internet search companies sell advertisement slots based on users’ search queries via an auction. While there has been a lot of attention on the auction process and its game-theoretic aspects, our focus is on the advertisers. In particular, the advertisers have to solve a complex optimization problem of how to place bids on the keywords of their interest so that they can maximize their return (the number of user clicks on their ads) for a given budget.

Allocating online advertisement space with unreliable estimates (pdf)
Hamid Nazerzadeh and Amin Saberi from Stanford, and Mohammad Mahdian from Yahoo

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How Google Crawls Facts on the Web

Google described some of the Janitors it uses to crawl facts on the Web in a recent patent application.

Google has been working on extracting data from a wide variety of sources on the Web, but there are problems with a lot of that information. Some examples:

One site may use a certain format to present information, while other pages use different formats.

Information from one web page may contradict information from others.

Some data may become old and stale.

When Google crawls facts to collect this kind of information, a lot of it needs to be cleaned up, and Google’s “Janitors” spring into action to do that.

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Google’s Place Rank and Interestingness – Ranking Geographic Entities in Maps/Earth for Display

In a digital map system, like Google Earth or Google Maps, it is possible for users to annotate placemarks using brief descriptions relevant to those locations.

The Google Earth Community is filled with examples of such placemarks. It’s also possible to come up with your own custom Google Maps using the Google Map API, or using the Google My Maps feature.

Google Geospatial Placemarks

Google has come up with a way of ranking these custom placemarks in different placemark layers, which they’ve referred to as Place Rank. Click on the image for a larger view of placemarks shown in Google Earth.

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Google Earth & Maps Advertising Patent Application

Imagine owning a baseball related website and sponsoring a layer on Google Earth, where you show all of the major league and minor league ball parks, as well as historically important locations (Babe Ruth’s birthplace, Negro league stadiums, etc.). Consider also including the training camp stadiums.

Seriously, ESPN or CBS or Baseball News, or Major League Baseball, please consider doing all of that.

Sponsorship of a layer in Google Earth is one of the items discussed in a patent application from Google that came out last week at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):

Determining Advertisements Using User Interest Information and Map-based Location Information
Published June 21, 2007
Int. Publication No: WO 2007/070358 A2
Int. App. No: PCT/US2006/046782
Filed: December 8, 2006
Invented by Steve Glassman, Joshy Joseph, Bill Kilday, Giao Nguyen, Dominic Preuss, and Sridhar Ramaswamy

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The Web isn’t a static place, where pages remain the same, as search engines try to index and lead searchers to information.

A new patent application from explores this stream of data, and trends within it, and how those can be used to improve search rankings and advertisements, as well as supplying searchers with relevant and up to date content.

I would suspect that similar inquiries into trends and burstiness of information happen at other search engines, too.

System and method for monitoring evolution over time of temporal content
Invented by Antonino Gulli, Filippo Tanganelli, and Antonio Savona
Assigned to Ask Jeeves, Inc.
US Patent Application 20070143300
Published June 21, 2007
Filed: December 20, 2005


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