Revenue Maximization via Hiding Item Attributes / 157
Mingyu Guo, Argyrios Deligkas

We study probabilistic single-item second-price auctions where the item is characterized by a set of attributes. The auctioneer knows the actual instantiation of all the attributes, but he may choose to reveal only a subset of these attributes to the bidders. Our model is an abstraction of the following Ad auction scenario. The website (auctioneer) knows the demographic information of its impressions, and this information is in terms of a list of attributes (e.g., age, gender, country of location). The website may hide certain attributes from its advertisers (bidders) in order to create thicker market, which may lead to higher revenue. We study how to hide attributes in an optimal way. We show that it is NP-hard to compute the optimal attribute hiding scheme. We then derive a polynomial-time solvable upper bound on the optimal revenue. Finally, we propose two heuristic-based attribute hiding schemes. Experiments show that revenue achieved by these schemes is close to the upper bound.