All Stories

18 December 2019

At Taboola, we work daily on improving our Deep-Learning-based content-recommendation model. We use it to suggest personalized news articles and ads to hundreds of millions users a day, so naturally we must stick to state-of-the-art deep learning modeling methods. But our job doesn’t end there – analyzing our results is a must too, and then we sometimes return to our data science roots and apply some very basic techniques.  Let’s lay such a  problem out. We are investigating a deep model that behaves rather strangely: it wins over our default model for what looks like a random group of advertisers, and loses for another group. This behavior is stable in the day to day, so it looks like there might be some inherent advertisers qualities (what we’ll call – campaign features) to blame for this.  You can see a typical model behavior for 4 campaigns below.  So we hypothesize that […]

4 September 2019

At Taboola, our goal is to predict whether users will click on the ads we present to them. Our models use all kinds of features, yet the most interesting ones tend to be related to the users’ history. Understanding how to use these features well can have a huge impact on the model’s personalization capabilities, due to the user-specific knowledge they hold.  User history features vary strongly between different users; for example, one popular feature is user categories – the topics a user had previously read. An example for such a list might look like this – {“sports”, “business”, “news”}. Each value in these lists is categorical and they have multiple entries, so we name them Multi-Categorical features. Multi-Categorical lists can have any number of values per user – which means our model must handle both very long lists and completely empty lists (for new users). Supplying inputs of unknown length […]

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