Dynamic dual adjustment of daily budgets and bids in sponsored search auctions

Jie Zhang, Yanwu Yang, Xin Li, Rui Qin, Daniel Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


As a form of targeted advertising, sponsored search auctions attract advertisers bidding for a limited number of slots in paid online listings. Sponsored search markets usually change rapidly over time, which requires advertisers to adjust their advertising strategies in a timely manner according to market dynamics. In this research, we argue that both the bid price and the advertiser (claimed) daily budget should be dynamically changed at a fine granularity (e.g., within a day) for an effective advertising strategy. By doing so, we can avoid wasting money on early ineffective clicks and seize better advertising opportunities in the future. We formulate the problem of dual adjusting (claimed) daily budget and bid price as a continuous state - discrete action decision process in the continuous reinforcement learning (CRL) framework. We fit the CRL approach to our decision scenarios by considering market dynamics and features of sponsored search auctions. We conduct experiments on a real-world dataset collected from campaigns conducted by an e-commerce advertiser on a major Chinese search engine to evaluate our dual adjustment strategy. Experimental results show that our strategy outperforms two state-of-the-art baseline strategies and illustrate the effect of adjusting either (claimed) daily budget or bid price in advertising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-114
Number of pages10
JournalDecision Support Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Budget adjustment
  • Continuous reinforcement learning
  • Dynamic adjustment
  • Sponsored search auction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic dual adjustment of daily budgets and bids in sponsored search auctions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this