The Second Workshop on User Engagement Optimization at KDD 2014

Date: 8:30AM – 6:00PM, Sunday, August 24, 2014
Venue: Room Liberty 4, Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York City, USA [Details]


We have an extensive program with invited talks, long presentations and short presentations from both industrial companies and academic researchers, covering experimental methods, machine learning, data mining, user understanding, social network analysis and etc.
[More details]

Invited Speakers [More]

Dr. Alex Smola — Researcher at Google and Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

Topic: Least mean squares matrix completion considered harmful or Do you really need to know how much I hate ‘Notting Hill’?


Dr. Lars Backstrom — Engineering Manager at Facebook

Topic: Generating a Billion Personal Newspapers: News Feed Ranking at Facebook


Dr. Suju Rajan — Senior Manager of Personalization Sciences at Yahoo Labs

Topic: Making the Stream a Daily Habit : Optimizing for long term behavior


Dr. Lihong Li — Researcher at Microsoft Research

Topic: Multi-armed Bandits on the Internet: Successes, Lessons and Challenges



Optimizing online user engagement plays a central role in the business success of many industry companies that own or operate Web sites, apps, and other online systems, including major Web search engines, Web portals, social networking websites, e-commerce systems, and numerous mobile/Web app owners. The key idea of online engagement optimization is to discover and leverage collected knowledge about the behavioral patterns of online engagement and provide features, functionality and experiences accordingly to attract users’s involvement, facilitate their interaction and enhance the long-term satisfaction. Study on this topic raises tremendous challenges to many disciplines, yet most of which we believe have to date been under-explored. For instance,

  • How to measure both short-term and long-term user engagement based on online traffic? What is the guideline for engagement metric design?
  • How to discover meaningful knowledge about the users, their interests and behavioral patterns and provide customized experiences that are tailored towards their specific needs?
  • How to develop models, algorithms and systems to effectively and efficiently process online user engagement data that are noisy, sparse and incomplete in nature and available at extremely large scale?
  • How to tune, test and validate a specific intervention or design decision based on time-drifting online traffic?
  • How to mitigate the effects of exogenous factors, and to make sense or discover insights from user engagement data to facilitate the design of an intervention or justify the outcome of a particular intervention or design decision?

This workshop aims to connect academic researchers and industrial practitioners who are working on or interested in online engagement optimization. The goal is to provide a forum for industrial practitioners to expose real-world challenges to academic communities and for academic researchers to popularize state-of-art research outcomes to industrial practitioners, and foster collaboration between the two. The workshop will be a full-day event consisting of invited talks of academic research advances and industrial technical showcases on related topics with presentations from contributed submissions.

Submission Instructions

We welcome submissions on all topics related to user engagement optimization. Authors are encouraged to submit their original work in either of the following two types:

  • Long papers: 10 pages (2-columns, ACM SIG format), including all references, figures and appendices. (same as the KDD main conference)
  • Short papers: 4 pages (2-columns, ACM SIG format), including all references, figures and appendices.

Please submit your paper through here. Submissions should follow the ACM SIG proceedings format (Option 2). The review process will be single-blind and the authors do NOT need to anonymize their submission. All papers must be in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Please ensure that any special fonts used are included in the submitted documents. At least one author of each accepted paper will be required to present their work at the presentation session.

Important Dates

  • Papers submission Deadline: June 13th, 2014 (Extended)
  • Notification of Acceptance: July 8th, 2014
  • Workshop Date: Sunday, August 24, 2014

All deadlines are due by 11:59pm, Hawaii time (i.e., GMT – 10 hours).


Liangjie Hong — Research Scientist, Yahoo Labs
Shuang-Hong Yang — Research Scientist, Twitter Inc.
Amr Ahmed — Research Scientist, Google Research