Pervasive Symbiotic Advertising by baa17504


									                                 Pervasive Symbiotic Advertising
C. Narayanaswami , D. Coffman†,                          J.H. Han♥, H.K. Jang♥,                              J.H. Kim♥, J. K Lee♥,
    M.C. Lee♥, Y.S. Moon♥,                              S. McFaddin†, Y.S. Paik♥,                                    ♥
                                                                                                           J.W. Park , D. Soroker

 †IBM T.J. Watson Research Center,                  ♥IBM Ubiquitous Computing Lab,                   †IBM T.J. Watson Research Center,
       Hawthorne, NY 10532                             Seoul, Republic of Korea                            Hawthorne, NY 10532                  

                                                                               by individuals.
ABSTRACT                                                                       Large LCD displays are proliferating in various public spaces
The proliferation of powerful mobile devices and the deployment                such as malls, train stations, fitness centers, etc., due to
of large displays in public spaces give rise to new and exciting               technological advances and rapidly declining costs. These
opportunities in personalized and targeted advertising.                        displays are typically used for showing pertinent information such
Advertising in such public spaces also raises interesting questions            as schedules, and entertainment, or for advertisements.
in several areas such as capturing and aggregating user context,
                                                                               The world of advertising has undergone massive changes over the
tailoring of ads, measuring advertisement efficacy, capturing user
                                                                               last few years [1], [2]. A sizeable fraction of the business has
attention, charging model and monetization, user privacy, and the
                                                                               moved from print and television to the web [11]. Following this
roles of parties in the ecosystem among others. In this paper, we
                                                                               trend, advertisers are now also targeting cellular phones. Ads
introduce the opportunities and challenges in delivering
                                                                               delivered to the web and personal devices can be customized for
advertisements to ambient displays utilizing information
                                                                               the user by utilizing information about user preference, history,
pertaining to users near the display. We then discuss some ways to
                                                                               and perhaps intent, and are likely to have higher hit rates and
address them and describe our first prototype. Though many
                                                                               associated revenue.
traditional challenges concerning the design, usability,
connectivity, and applications of mobile systems are still                     In this paper we introduce pervasive symbiotic advertising which
important, we believe that applications and challenges resulting               applies device symbiosis [8] to advertising. Device symbiosis
from symbiosis between mobile systems and surrounding devices,                 advocates collaboration between personal mobile devices and
such as the subject of this paper, are a rich area for further                 shared facility devices to produce a richer user experience. In
exploration by the mobile computing community.                                 pervasive symbiotic advertising, targeted ads are delivered on
                                                                               public displays by incorporating a plethora of information from
Categories and Subject Descriptors                                             personal devices but without intruding upon the user’s personal
K.8.0 [Personal Computing]: General
                                                                               Pervasive symbiotic advertising can create new functionality for
General Terms                                                                  users and new revenue opportunities for businesses for the
Algorithms,   Management,      Measurement,        Performance,                following reasons. Data from mobile devices can help targeting.
Economics, Security, Human Factors, Legal Aspects.                             Large displays can deliver ads with significantly higher visual
                                                                               quality than the small displays on mobile devices. They are also
                                                                               likely to capture the user’s attention in situations when the mobile
Keywords                                                                       device is not in active use, e.g., when it is in a pocket or handbag.
Advertising, Symbiosis, Pervasive Computing, Security, Privacy.                Moreover, the user is not interrupted by ads delivered to his
                                                                               personal mobile device and can ignore the ad on the large display
1. Introduction                                                                if he chooses to.
Cellular phones are a hotbed for deploying a wide range of                     In the world we envision (Fig. 1), users’ personal devices convey
applications. They command considerable user attention,                        their interests and preferences, perhaps escrowed with a trusted
accompany the user for significant periods of time, store a wide               party such as a service provider, to an ad broker that delivers ads
variety of user data, experiences, activities, history, etc., and are a        to nearby displays in pervasive zones such as shopping malls. The
rich repository of data on the user. Moreover, in some parts of the            user benefits by receiving incentives on products/services sold in
world the cellular phone is the only computing device possessed                the user’s vicinity that meet his needs and can be purchased
                                                                               instantly. For maximum effectiveness, instant gratification must
                                                                               satisfy some need that is not met by a web-based store. A zone
                                                                               broker may collect, aggregate and anonymize information about
                                                                               users present in the zone and also have zone-specific information
                                                                               such as the location, environs, and size of displays, store
                                                                               locations, competitors, and provide them to an ad broker. Stores
                                                                               and manufacturers can bid for placing ads on specific displays in
                                                                               the zone based on information provided by the zone broker.
                                                                               Multiple simultaneous ads may be shown on the displays. The
                                                                               cost of an ad can depend on various factors such as user

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                                Figure 1: Pervasive Symbiotic Advertisements in public spaces

demographics, store locations relative to displays, and user                 significantly more complex? Do interests have a lifetime and a
preferences such as relative urgency.                                        decay function so some interests lose weight and eventually
                                                                             expire? Should the purchase of tickets to a string of Yankee
In the rest of this paper we discuss key challenges in pervasive
                                                                             games mark the user as a baseball fan? Can a user’s profile be
symbiotic advertising and present the architecture and
                                                                             automatically updated to remove the section about interest in
implementation of our initial prototype. We believe this area is
                                                                             bargains on a Nokia N95 phone after he has purchased it? Though
poised for explosive growth and is a fecund area for
                                                                             the user can ignore an ad for the already purchased Nokia N95 on
interdisciplinary research by the community.
                                                                             the public display since it is not intrusive, he may be delighted to
                                                                             see an ad related to an Xbox game. The accuracy of the profile is
2. Challenges                                                                even more important for the advertiser who is paying for it. Other
Several challenges arise in pervasive symbiotic advertising. Some            context can be extrapolated from past, present and future activities
are common to other forms of advertising. For example privacy,               listed on his calendar, from his location trail, etc.
the measurement of efficacy, and monetization are already
                                                                             Another method of obtaining context is by monitoring and
encountered in conventional advertising. However, interesting
                                                                             observation. Cameras already exist in public spaces for security
new twists arise in these aspects in a symbiotic advertising zone.
                                                                             reasons. One idea is to attach such cameras to the ambient
Other themes like live aggregation of context by monitoring zones
                                                                             displays. Analysis of images from well placed cameras can reveal
and retrieving information from mobile devices, measuring hits
                                                                             user demographics and interests. For example the age group and
for ambient ads via a mobile device feedback channel, sharing
                                                                             sex can be gathered to a first approximation by analyzing body
large displays for multiple simultaneous ads, charging schemes
                                                                             outlines, hair, height, gait pattern, jewelry, clothing, etc. The type
based on proximity and live demographics, dynamic bidding for
                                                                             of clothes worn can give a further indication of the user’s interest
local ads, etc., are more central to the new model and open up the
                                                                             in fashion, their financial status, etc. Titles of books they are
sluice gates for ideas. One may even have to revisit the definition
                                                                             reading can reveal additional interests. Some systems have started
of an advertisement – is an ad now a personalized active object
                                                                             to determine user’s emotions. We are not aware of video
instead of generic passive static content? In the following we
                                                                             surveillance systems that do all of the above today, but given the
discuss some of the issues we have investigated.
                                                                             capabilities of some systems, we believe several of the tasks are
                                                                             within the reach of technology if they are applied to this problem.
2.1 Sensing and aggregating user context                                     Another obvious method to detect user presence, density and
Live sensing of collective user context is important for pervasive           movement would be from associations to wireless access points
symbiotic advertising. A user’s individual context includes her              such as micro cell towers, 802.11 and Bluetooth base stations.
activity, preferences and interests, and in more advanced cases -            There are perhaps other novel ways of monitoring such as
her intent. Other elements of context include time and location              measuring ambient noise levels, studying patterns of absorption of
that can lead to ties with events and activities.                            RF signals by human bodies, etc., that are yet unexplored.
How can user context be sensed in symbiotic zones? There are at              Assuming we are able to obtain individual context, one of the
least two possibilities – one is through user contribution and the           challenges is aggregation of information gathered from multiple
other is by monitoring and observation. Users could communicate              users. Suppose among users standing in front of a display three
their preferences and interests from their mobile phone. In the              users are looking for shoes, three for media-players and six for
simplest case a service provider could detect the presence of the            dresses. How should their input be weighted and aggregated? In a
phone and retrieve from the user’s centralized profile the                   multilingual population, which language would be the best for the
information he wishes to share in a particular zone. In other cases          ad given the set of users? The average distance of the users may
the phone could communicate with an entity in the zone to share              determine the font size used for the ad. A wealthy user with a high
the user’s interests. While this sounds simple, in practice there are        credit limit and a desire to purchase a product that is available
several issues surrounding user value, usability, security and               locally should presumably count more than someone who already
privacy. We discuss security and privacy later on. The value                 owns the product or has no desire to do so. A user who is reading
proposition with pervasive symbiotic advertising is that the user            a book in the public zone may be less valuable to the advertiser
learns about or gets a deal on some product he is looking for                than someone who is idle and likely to look at a display. Lack of
without infestation on his primary display. What should be in a              user movement could affect ad placement. How should the
user’s profile and how easy is it for him to create and update? Is it        presence of a date or children around an adult alter the weighting
organized just by relative priority, time and location or is it              given to that adult? How should a daily visitor to the zone count

compared to an occasional visitor? As we can see, computing an                thereby establishing a direct link between ad and sale. Ads that
aggregated weight that can be used to select the ad is an                     result in immediate sales should presumably cost more. When a
interesting problem with many plausible solutions that need to be             user buys the product in the same physical store two days later,
validated.                                                                    after consulting their spouse and children for example, the ad may
                                                                              still be considered successful. If the user buys the item at a
                                                                              different store of the same chain, the ad could still be considered
2.2 Measuring and improving advertisement                                     persuasive though it was not as effective as an immediate local
efficiency                                                                    sale. How should the ad be charged in this case? Should the price
Measuring the efficacy of symbiotic ads is a central challenge,               of the ad depend on the distance between the display and the store
with several interesting avenues. One could have cameras on the               that sells the item? If the same item is sold in many stores the
ambient displays to determine how many people are watching the                advertiser should be charged less. Should ads targeted at wealthier
display while an ad is being shown. The location of the user’s                audiences cost more? A weighted average between the number of
mobile phone could be tracked to see if the user is stationary                units sold and the time elapsed since the airing of the ad and the
when the ad is being shown. Presumably if users are continuing to             geographic distance between the sale and the airing could be a
walk at a steady pace while the ad is being shown they are not                measure of the ad’s effectiveness. A shopper could buy a diamond
paying attention to it. The user could directly indicate interest in          ring or a trinket in response to an ad for a jewelry store, so should
the ad through his mobile device – for example by soliciting                  the cost of the ad be based on actual sale value?
additional information, such as directions to the store or
requesting a coupon. The total sale of goods after the ad is shown            The above scenarios imply that the ad broker verifies when the
is an ultimate indicator of its success. A weighted average                   purchase is made that the user was present near the ad at some
between the number of units sold and the time elapsed since the               point. How should people who do not carry a mobile device or
airing of the ad could be a measure of the ad’s success. Users                transmit any preference information be handled? If they see an ad
could download the ads to their mobile device for later viewing or            and respond with a transaction, should the advertiser pay?
for sharing with others, leading to viral advertising that businesses
may like. They could also be allowed to act on downloaded ads                 2.4 Security, privacy and user annoyance
increasing the longevity of the ad.                                           Sharing preferences and desires with service providers and
A non-stop sequence of ads is likely to cause people habitually to            viewing relevant ads in public leads to concerns over security,
ignore them. Simple traditional techniques can help. For example,             privacy and annoyance. Some security concerns relating to data
showing a sports clip before the ad could get the attention of                access can be addressed by requiring trusted certificates. Kang
several people. Other possibilities include games and trivia that             and Boriello [4] suggest a broadcast method where users pick and
may pique user attention. What should the ratio of non-                       choose what they want to hear instead of revealing their
advertisement to advertisement time on the display be for                     preferences. By using large displays for ads instead of infesting
maximum effectiveness? The non-advertisements could also be                   the user’s mobile display we believe user annoyance is reduced
tailored to user preferences, e.g., they could be sports clips,               significantly.
cooking tips, stock tickers, or home fashion, etc., depending on              Predicting people’s behavior with respect to privacy is hard. The
the audience. Events in the user’s profile such as upcoming                   amount of personal information people post on social networking
birthdays could be used to draw in the user, e.g., “Looking for a             sites and blogs is far beyond what one might have anticipated.
birthday present?” A marquee with a randomly selected list of                 Many people do not think twice about entering fairly personal
nick-names/aliases (Fig. 1) of users around the display could be              queries in a search engine because they either do not understand
used to draw in viewers. Every user will resist any of these                  the privacy issues or perceive that the benefit outweighs the loss
techniques at times. However, even this has its merit because                 of privacy. People are becoming resigned to the existence of
users are more likely to share their preferences if ads do not                cameras in public spaces - the average Londoner is photographed
intrude on their personal space. Some users may set profiles that             400 times a day. Service providers already know at least the
state that they should be notified on the mobile when the nearby              coarse location of your mobile device. Most people have come to
display is showing an ad related to their profile. The notification           accept these intrusions as reasonable. Facebook recently had to do
could be subtle such as a small vibration pattern. How many users             an about face and stop sharing information about what users had
will like this concept and stick with it? How to ensure that ad               purchased and make that an opt-in process.
brokers follow the rules on notifications? Answers to such
questions require experiments with broad audiences.                           Nevertheless, zone brokers, service providers, and ad brokers
                                                                              should anonymize information as much as is possible. For
                                                                              example the zone broker could report aggregate preference or
2.3 Pricing advertisements and monetization                                   context information to the ad brokers. Service providers and zone
The pricing of an ad and the distribution of the revenue stream               brokers could generate a new anonymous token each time they
among the various parties in our ecosystem presents interesting               detect a user and only communicate that to the ad broker. If a
challenges in itself. The cost of an ad could depend on several               coupon is sent to the user’s mobile device in response to an ad it
parameters such as the numbers of people who watch the ad, who                should have no identification information. Zone brokers should
are around the display, who enter a store related to an ad, and who           destroy identifiable information obtained from cameras and other
finally act on the ad. Linking the ad to an actual sale is a challenge        means in a timely manner except when required by law.
since the viewing of the ad and the sale may happen at different
times. A recent service from Apple for iPhones allows users to                Click-through fraud plagues web-based advertising, requiring
instantly buy the song currently playing in a Starbucks cafe –                detection of bots through CAPTCHAs or other means. In our

                                           Figure 2: Two types of advertising a, b
environment the users interact locally with the ad using their             on number of seats filled. Ads may be reshaped at the request of a
mobile device. Misuse through malicious user preferences and               user. For example, what may start as a simple ad for shoes may be
“ad-booster gangs” in zones can be detected by tracking the                augmented at the request of a user to display inventory
mobile devices.                                                            information (See Fig. 2.a) – this may further morph into a shoe
                                                                           finder application (Fig. 2.b) which bears little resemblance to the
                                                                           original ad.
3. An ecosystem               for    symbiotic         targeted
advertisement                                                                   Consumer brokers: Pervasive symbiotic ads generally
Advertisement works through an ecosystem of players.                       require the extraction of user context information (e.g.,
Traditionally this has involved a small number of players in a             preferences, intentions, location) from a device. Such information
relatively static loop of relationships. Symbiotic pervasive               can be controlled and managed by a consumer broker, which acts
advertising offers opportunities to expand this loop into a broader        as an agent on behalf of the user. Cellular service providers could
and dynamic ecosystem that more effectively services the interest          be ideal candidates for this role. The consumer broker can release
of a wide set of players. This section analyzes the main players in        user location data to qualified parties in a way controlled by user
such an ecosystem.                                                         specified rules. Consumer brokers could offer additional services
                                                                           to capture user preferences and shopping or wish lists. An
Consumers: Consumers have traditionally been viewed as passive             example would be an on-device service which reads product bar
targets that do not generally possess the instrument of volition in        codes (e.g., via the device’s camera) and adds those products to
receiving an ad. However, with the capabilities of interactive             the user’s wish list. The consumer broker could also manage
advertising, it can be envisioned that a consumer would seek out           trigger conditions, such as a price threshold on a known product,
certain advertisements due to a perception of their benefits.              and deliver alerts to the user. The key is that the broker makes
Advertisers: Advertisers could be manufacturers and sellers of             user information available to third parties at the user’s discretion.
goods and services. Advertisers place ads with an ad broker to             Consumer brokers can alleviate privacy concerns in explicit ways,
woo customers. Stores may wish to tie in ads to current                    such as through the enforcement of user specified policies and
inventories and live local demographics. For example, presence of          also in ad hoc ways, e.g., through anonymization.
a cost conscious audience that does not care about having the              Zone brokers: A zone broker manages, administers and monitors
latest gadget could trigger an ad for an earlier model digital             the public space. The zone broker channels availability and status
camera with high inventory. Stores may bid for ads based on                information about the zone facilities to ad brokers, which make
information received from the zone broker. Based on live                   run time placement decisions about ads. The zone broker deploys
demographic information reported by the zone broker, the store             technology which receives user preference and location
may be willing to pay more for immediate airing of its ad. Stores          information from consumer brokers. It can compute live
may also hand out coupons electronically through the ad broker to          demographics of people around the displays and can provide
entice users. Stores want the sale completed as early as possible,         aggregated or anonymized demographics to ad brokers and
so how long should such coupons be valid? Restaurants may                  businesses.
advertise that a popular band is playing during dinner to lure
people in. Movie theaters may show previews before show times              Advertisement brokers: The ad broker selects and customizes the
and offer discounts if shows are not full.                                 ads that will be shown on the displays provided by the zone
                                                                           brokers. The ad broker’s goal is to maximize its revenue stream.
Advertisements: Advertisements in traditional media have been              The ad broker makes several important decisions, how much to
viewed as pieces of content, not first class artifacts in business         charge for an ad, which ads to show on which displays, when to
relationships. The types of ads envisioned in this paper may more          air an ad, whether multiple ads will be shown on a display at one
properly be viewed as services or agents who act on behalf of one          time, which version of the ad to air, etc. The ad broker can help
or more parties. They have parallel goals of conveying                     advertisers decide the lifespan of ads by giving feedback. While
information to a consumer, but generally in a way that is                  print ads have well a defined lifespan, interactive ads have a
advantageous to the underlying advertiser. They may also possibly          completely different lifecycle which should be studied and
enable the consumer to extract further information of their own            possibly formalized.
volition. The lifespan of such ads may be unpredictable, e.g.,
number of ads for movie tickets for the next show could depend

 The ad broker may also arbitrate auctions for ad space. It may              is maintained by zone infrastructural components such as location
allow stores to reserve a display for certain time slots. An ad for a        sensors.
product that is available at a nearby store perhaps has a higher
                                                                             Celadon combines information about user preferences, available
return than an ad for something available at a greater distance.
                                                                             services such as product data services, and availability of displays.
When stores move, ad brokers have to update their charging and
                                                                             This combined information is used to yield suggestions for
weighting functions. Ad brokers can use reasoning engines to
                                                                             interactions in which the user makes use of available displays to
infer that if a user is rushing to take a train to go to work after
                                                                             connect to underlying services in a customized way. Fig. 2
eating breakfast at the train station, he is less likely to be
                                                                             illustrates two such interactions. Fig. 2.a is an interactive ad
interested in buying shoes then than during a leisurely visit to a
                                                                             station on a touch-sensitive 40-inch plasma display. The products
mall. Ad brokers preferably have no access to user identifiable
                                                                             that appear in the ad are customized to the user’s preferences. The
                                                                             ad is “constructed” on the fly, in contrast to traditional ads that are
                                                                             simply “shown”. The ad pulls live product data from an
4. Prototype Implementation                                                  underlying information service, and includes up to date inventory
We have built a system, called Celadon [7], for delivering                   readings for the advertised products. Additionally the ad can
business services, such as advertising, to mobile device users and           exhibit a product set, rather than an individual, and the user can
non-device users in public spaces. The public spaces enabled by              scroll through the set by touching the screen. Fig. 2.b displays a
Celadon are called zones – examples include retail stores and                mapping style ad, in which suggested restaurants are displayed
malls, train/bus stations, airports, movie theaters, sports arenas,          against a map of a shopping mall. The user, seen in the inset, is
and theme parks. The business services offered in a zone are                 entering preferences (e.g., “I like Korean food”) for the ad via a
called zone-based services. Non-advertising examples include                 query screen on the mobile device.
product information services, store mapping and finding services,
document printing services, local restaurant listings, and transport
schedules. Users interact with these services through displays on
                                                                             5. Related work, conclusions and future work
                                                                             To our knowledge, Ranganathan and Campbell introduced
their mobile device, zone-provided displays such as a large format
                                                                             advertising in pervasive zones [9]. GroupCast [6] displays items
touch screen, or combinations thereof.
                                                                             of common interest to a group of individuals based on their
Celadon acts as a services broker for zone-based services                    profiles. The Hermes Photo Display [3] explores use of Bluetooth
environments, mediating between the user and the services offered            enabled phones to interact with large displays in the context of
to the user in the zone. The goal of Celadon is to recommend and             photo viewing and sharing applications. BluScreen [5] is an
customize interactions with services that are relevant to the                advertising framework to maximize exposure of ads to audiences
business processes of the zone and the needs of the user. User               by detecting and identifying users via Bluetooth devices and
preferences are taken into account in computing the relevant zone-           avoiding repetition. An auction system related to BluScreen is
based services to be offered to the user. We have extended the               discussed in [10].
service brokering capabilities of the Celadon for targeted ads on
                                                                             The use of device symbiosis for advertising to provide mutual
pervasive displays in public spaces.
                                                                             benefits to customers and sellers leads to many questions around
Celadon uses a reasoning engine [12] to make inferences upon                 live context aggregation, ad selection, user privacy, and the
relationships among artifacts in the zone better to target ads in the        overall ecosystem. We have explored the problem specifically
zone. Celadon describes the various products and services                    with ambient displays in more depth.            Decoupling user
available within a zone using ontologies, which are expressed in             preferences and activity from the advertisement destination and
the OWL language. Ontologies enable rich descriptions of the                 separation of roles for various parties can help address user
hierarchy of, and relationships among, entities. Suppose that the            privacy. We have built an early prototype and are refining it to
user had expressed a preference for French roast coffee. An                  explore many of the issues we have uncovered. Our experiments
ontology of food items provides a classification of this as a                lead us to believe this is a very fertile area that is poised for
beverage. Suppose further that she had expressed a desire to                 explosive growth.
receive special offers. When she approaches Mr. Java’s coffee
shop, which offers “Parisian Morning” – their name for French
roast coffee, the system first reasons that “Parisian Morning” is a
                                                                             6. Acknowledgments
                                                                             This work is partially supported by the Institute of Information
type of coffee she likes and secondly that the she would like a
                                                                             Technology Assessment (IITA) and the Ministry of Information
coupon. As a result of this match the system shows an ad for this
                                                                             and Communications (MIC) of Republic of Korea.
establishment. Similarly, if the user had expressed an interest for
a particular movie, he might be offered a specially-priced ticket
for another movie starring the same actors as he approaches the              7. References
theater.                                                                     [1] A. Amiri and S Menon, “Efficient scheduling of Internet
                                                                                 banner advertisements,” In ACM Trans. on Internet
Celadon collects user information from a variety of sources. For                 Technology Vol. 3 , No. 4, 2003, pp. 334-346.
example, the user’s identifying information is submitted by the
user’s mobile device in the form of signed credentials. Celadon              [2] S. M. Bohte, E. Gerting and H. La Poutre, “Market-based
provides pluggable components which validate user credentials                    recommendation: Agents that computer for consumer
and extract profile and preference information from their contents.              attention,” In ACM Trans. on Internet Technology Vol. 4, No
Other information, such as a user’s location, and current activity               4, 2004 pp. 420-448.

[3] Cheverst et al., “Exploring Bluetooth based Mobile Phone              [8] M. Raghunath, C. Narayanaswami, C. Pinhanez, “Fostering a
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    MobileHCI, 2005, pp. 47-54.                                               2003, pp. 55-65.
[4] J. H. Kang and G. Boriello, “Ubiquitous Computing Using               [9] A. Ranganathan and R. H. Campbell, “Advertising in a
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[5] M. Karam, T. R. Payne, E. David, “Evaluating BluScreen:                   Workshop on Mobile Commerce (WMC) 2002, pp. 10-14.
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[6] J. F. McCarthy, T. J. Costa, E. S. Liongosari, “UniCast,                   Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2007, pp. 251-
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