My friends frequently ask me about the kind of research I do at Yahoo! Labs. Usually I cannot give them many details, because our work is confidential. But after a project is completed we frequently publish a paper describing it. This is a great opportunity for others, inside and outside the company, to learn more about our efforts.
The first project I participated at Yahoo! Labs Haifa was called FAME – a Framework for Agile Media Experiences. We recently published a paper about it:
Title: “Hierarchical Composable Optimization of Web Pages”
Abstract: “The process of creating modern Web media experiences is challenged by the need to adapt the content and presentation choices to dynamic real-time fluctuations of user interest across multiple audiences. We introduce FAME – a Framework for Agile Media Experiences – which addresses this scalability problem. FAME allows media creators to define abstract page models that are subsequently transformed into real experiences through algorithmic experimentation. FAME’s page models are hierarchically composed of simple building blocks, mirroring the structure of most Web pages. They are resolved into concrete page instances by pluggable algorithms which optimize the pages for specific business goals. Our framework allows retrieving dynamic content from multiple sources, defining the experimentation’s degrees of freedom, and
constraining the algorithmic choices. It offers an effective separation of concerns in the media creation process, enabling multiple stakeholders with profoundly different skills to apply their crafts and perform their duties independently, composing and reusing each other’s work in modular ways.”
You can freely download the full PDF version of the paper.
Here is a presentation about this project:
There are many other very interesting projects going on at Yahoo! Labs worldwide. To learn more about them, you can check these two sites:
You can also search the publications repository, looking for papers about a specific subject. A few papers are more theoretic in nature, but most of them are very practical.
For example, a recent publication that became very popular makes an analysis of user behavior at Twitter, and surprisingly concludes that “roughly 50% of tweets consumed are generated by just 20K elite users”. Of course this conclusion has some important implications for companies that want to advertise on Twitter.
So good luck learning more about our research activities at Yahoo! Labs. I’m sure you will find some inspiring ideas. Enjoy!