On Friday, July 31st, SI REU Summer 2009 students Guha Balakrishnan and Ye Wang present “The Bidding War: Trading Agents and the 2009 TAC Ad Auctions Tournament” at SI North.
Sponsored search auctions provide a substantial source of revenue for online publishers, amounting to billions of dollars annually. Given the impact of these online ad auctions, a growing body of researchers has started to investigate both the mechanism design problem faced by publishers as well as the strategic problems faced by advertisers. Developed at the University of Michigan, the TAC Ad Auctions (TAC/AA) game is one such avenue of research into online advertising auctions. The TAC/AA game provides a challenging simulated sponsored search advertising scenario, and was developed to explore features of these auctions beyond the reach of current analytical methods. In this presentation, we present an overview of the game along with some analysis of the 2009 TAC/AA tournament. In particular, we discuss the strategic choices that advertisers made when bidding for slots across multiple interdependent auctions.