Modeling the Sequential Dependence among Audience Multi-step Conversions with Multi-task Learning in Targeted Display Advertising

by   Dongbo Xi, et al.

In most real-world large-scale online applications (e.g., e-commerce or finance), customer acquisition is usually a multi-step conversion process of audiences. For example, an impression->click->purchase process is usually performed of audiences for e-commerce platforms. However, it is more difficult to acquire customers in financial advertising (e.g., credit card advertising) than in traditional advertising. On the one hand, the audience multi-step conversion path is longer. On the other hand, the positive feedback is sparser (class imbalance) step by step, and it is difficult to obtain the final positive feedback due to the delayed feedback of activation. Multi-task learning is a typical solution in this direction. While considerable multi-task efforts have been made in this direction, a long-standing challenge is how to explicitly model the long-path sequential dependence among audience multi-step conversions for improving the end-to-end conversion. In this paper, we propose an Adaptive Information Transfer Multi-task (AITM) framework, which models the sequential dependence among audience multi-step conversions via the Adaptive Information Transfer (AIT) module. The AIT module can adaptively learn what and how much information to transfer for different conversion stages. Besides, by combining the Behavioral Expectation Calibrator in the loss function, the AITM framework can yield more accurate end-to-end conversion identification. The proposed framework is deployed in Meituan app, which utilizes it to real-timely show a banner to the audience with a high end-to-end conversion rate for Meituan Co-Branded Credit Cards. Offline experimental results on both industrial and public real-world datasets clearly demonstrate that the proposed framework achieves significantly better performance compared with state-of-the-art baselines.


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