Summer Conference Season Kicks off at Yahoo Labs

Jun 17, 2010

The beginning of summer marks the start of the busy conference season at Yahoo Labs. Recently, its researchers were busy attending the 30th ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data/Principles of Database Systems (SIGMOD/PODS 2010) in Indianapolis, IN, and the 11th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC 2010) in Cambridge, MA. Yahoo Labs had six accepted papers at SIGMOD/PODS, and Sihem Amer-Yahia served on the panel for “Crowds, Clouds, and Algorithms: Exploring the Human Side of ‘Big Data’ Applications“ and as the undergraduate research program chair. The industrial track sessions were standing-room-only and extremely lively, and included overview talks by Cloudera and SciDB. This year saw the trial of a new format: shorter (22 minutes) talk slots with every talk accompanied by a poster in a separate plenary session. Yahoos in attendance thought the new format of talks paired with posters worked well. At EC, David Pennock, Michael Schwarz, Arpita Ghosh, Sebastien Lahaie, Mohammad Mahdian, Preston McAfee, and Dan Reeves served on the program committees. Yahoo Labs had five accepted papers, and Preston McAfee gave a keynote talk on “Integrating Guaranteed Display Advertising Contracts into an Exchange” during the Ad Auctions workshop. Prediction markets was a major theme at the conference with six of the accepted papers focused on the topic. Sebastien Lahaie also co-organized the Ad Auctions workshop that drew close to a record-setting 100 participants and presented work that ranged from theory and empirical analysis to field experiments. Sponsored search was still the dominant kind of ad auction studied with significant work on display ad auctions as well. As summer moves into full swing, more conferences will be in store for the researchers at Yahoo Labs. Next on the calendar is the 27th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2010), being held in Haifa, Israel from June 21 to 24. We’ll announce the winners of the Learning to Rank Challenge at the workshop on June 25th.