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Contextual First-Price Auctions with Budgets

by   Santiago Balseiro, et al.

The internet advertising market is a multi-billion dollar industry, in which advertisers buy thousands of ad placements every day by repeatedly participating in auctions. In recent years, the industry has shifted to first-price auctions as the preferred paradigm for selling advertising slots. Another important and ubiquitous feature of these auctions is the presence of campaign budgets, which specify the maximum amount the advertisers are willing to pay over a specified time period. In this paper, we present a new model to study the equilibrium bidding strategies in first-price auctions for advertisers who satisfy budget constraints on average. Our model dispenses with the common, yet unrealistic assumption that advertisers' values are independent and instead assumes a contextual model in which advertisers determine their values using a common feature vector. We show the existence of a natural value-pacing-based Bayes-Nash equilibrium under very mild assumptions, and study its structural properties. Furthermore, we generalize the existence result to standard auctions and prove a revenue equivalence showing that all standard auctions yield the same revenue even in the presence of budget constraints.


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