Google to sponsor Israeli research

Israeli researchers will conduct some 20 research projects relating to Internet economy, opportunities, fundamentals of online auctions.

By JUDY SIEGEL
March 16, 2011 23:46
2 minute read.
A Google office.

Google office 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Google Inc., the US multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing and advertising technologies, will pay Israeli researchers to conduct some 20 research projects relating to opportunities in the Internet economy, with a particular focus on the fundamentals of online auctions.

The deal’s signing by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Yissum Research Development Company Ltd., Tel Aviv University’s Ramot Ltd. technologytransfer company and the Technion Research and Development Foundation (TRDF Ltd.) was announced Wednesday.

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The past two decades have seen the Internet grow from a scientific network to an economic force that spurs the global economy. E-commerce, online advertising, social networks and other new business models present the traditional economy with fascinating questions, which could have a profound impact, the companies said.

For example, unlike in TV advertising, where the advertiser buys a fixed number of commercials, online systems such as Google’s AdWords use a computerized auction in which advertisers determine how much they are willing to pay. Other relevance signals then contribute to an algorithm determining the online selection and rank of a particular ad. These auction systems involve complex computations and result in more relevant and effective ads.

To date, these auctions have been developed mainly by the Internet industry. Academic research in such disciplines as algorithmic game theory and algorithmic mechanism design could greatly benefit from insights learned from the practice of the new industry and may be able to help improve online advertising auctions and create more opportunities for advertisers, users and the online economy at large, the companies said.

Google will support a cluster of research projects that explore the basic questions lying at the heart of this new economy. Such questions include the economic effects of viral networking, the dynamics of electronic markets and new formats of selling advertisements, which could be beneficial to the user and the advertisers.

The research projects will be conducted by experts in many fields, including computer science, statistics and game theory, artificial intelligence and social sciences. This interdisciplinary and large-scale approach is necessary to tackle these challenges, the companies said.



“The field of electronic auctions and markets has grown tremendously over the past decade and has become a significant factor in the Internet industry and economy,” said Prof. Yossi Matias, managing director of Google’s Israel R&D center.

“Google is proud to support open academic research that will advance the fundamental research in this evolving discipline. Israel boasts unusual academic excellence in the interdisciplinary foundations of electronic auctions and markets.”


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