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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

Personalization is a Two-Way Street
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Tuesday, 16.01.2018, 14:30
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Room 337 Taub Bld.
Recommender systems are first and foremost about matching users with items the systems believe will delight them. The "main street" of personalization is thus about modeling users and items, and matching per user the items predicted to best satisfy the user. This holds for both collaborative filtering and content-based methods. In content discovery engines, difficulties arise from the fact that the content users natively consume on publisher sites does not necessarily match the sponsored content that drives the monetization and sustains those engines. The first part of this talk addresses this gap by sharing lessons learned and by discussing how the gap may be bridged at scale with proper techniques. The second part of the talk focuses on personalization of audiences on behalf of content marketing campaigns. From the marketers' side, optimizing audiences was traditionally done by refining targeting criteria, basically limiting the set of users to be exposed to their campaigns. Marketers then began sharing conversion data with systems, and the systems began optimizing campaign conversions by serving the campaign to users likely to transact with the marketer. Today, a hybrid approach of lookalike modeling combines marketers' targeting criteria with recommendation systems' models to personalize audiences for campaigns, with marketer ROI as the target. This talk was given as a keynote in ACM RecSys 2017. Short bio: ========== Ronny Lempel joined Outbrain in May 2014 as VP of Outbrain's Recommendations Group, where he oversees the computation, delivery and auction mechanisms of the company's recommendations. Prior to joining Outbrain, Ronny spent 6.5 years as a Senior Director at Yahoo Labs. Ronny joined Yahoo in October 2007 to open and establish its Research Lab in Haifa, Israel. During his tenure at Yahoo, Ronny led R&D activities in diverse areas, including Web Search, Web Page Optimization, Recommender Systems and Ad Targeting. In January 2013 Ronny was appointed Yahoo Labs' Chief Data Scientist in addition to his managerial duties. Prior to joining Yahoo, Ronny spent 4.5 years at IBM Research, where his duties included research and development in the area of enterprise search systems. During his tenure at IBM, Ronny managed the Information Retrieval Group at IBM's Haifa Research Lab for two years. Ronny received his PhD, which focused on search engine technology, from the Faculty of Computer Science at Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in early 2003. Ronny has authored over 40 research papers in leading conferences and journals, and holds 18 granted US patents. He regularly serves on program and organization committees of Web-focused conferences, and has taught advanced courses on Search Engine Technologies and Big Data Technologies at Technion. ========================================= Refreshments will be served from 14:15 Lecture starts at 14:30