Accepted Papers

Recurrent Neural Networks for Stochastic Control in Real-Time Bidding

Nicolas Grislain, Nicolas Perrin and Antoine Thabault


Bidding in real-time auctions can be a difficult stochastic control task; especially in a very uncertain market and if underdelivery incurs strong penalties. Most current works and implementations focus on optimally delivering a campaign given a reasonable forecast of the market. Practical implementations have a feedback loop to adjust and be robust to forecasting errors, but no implementation, to the best of our knowledge, uses a model of market risk and actively anticipates market shifts. Solving such stochastic control problems in practice is actually very challenging and an approximate solution based on a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) architecture is both effective and practical for implementation in a production environment. The RNN bidder provisions everything it needs to avoid underdelivery. It also deliberately falls short of its goal when buying the missing impressions would cost more than the penalty for not reaching it.

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