Hexbid, Bidding Agents, Bid Modifiers, Bid Models and Delivery Models

Overview of Bidding Options

Beeswax gives you enormous flexibility in shaping how to bid on auctions for any given Line Items. This article explains the options and the components necessary for implementing the right bidding strategy for your business.

At a high level, there are four bidding options supported, ranked in the table below from simplest to most powerful. There are also options for shaping delivery using Delivery Models, described below.

Bidding optionWhat is it?ProsCons
HexbidBeeswax-created algorithms you can use out of the box. See list of supported strategies hereNo work requiredNot custom to your needs, doesn't support CPA/CPI.
Bid ModifierAPI- and UI-supported way to multiple the bid based on common RTB parameters. Powerful
Easy to understand and use
* Supports user- and list-lever scoring
Each term is evaluated in isolation, permutations are not supported
Limit of 1,000 variables per modifier
Bid ModelOffline models uploaded with up to millions of permutations of parameters determining the bid amounts or multipliers. Supports complex permutations
No need to host infrastructure
Asynchronous upload may delay model going live immediately
Model features limited to fields available on bid request
Bidding AgentCustom code to determine bids in real-timeNo limits to what you can doEngineering resources required to build, test, and maintain

Using Bidding Strategies and Line Items

The bidding strategy to use is determined at the Line Item level through the interaction of the bidding_strategy, bid_modifier_id, and max_bid field.

The bidding_strategy field is always required for every Line Item and determines which strategy to use, what parameters to send to the strategy, and whether to apply pacing on top of the bidding (learn mode about Bidding Strategies).

Bidding Strategies interact with Bid Modifiers, Bid Models, and Pacing as shown below:

Bidding StrategyPacingBid Modifier/Bid Models
Hexbid: CPM-based strategiesYesYes
Hexbid: VCR strategyYesYes
Hexbid: CPC strategyYesYes
Bidding AgentYesNo

Hexbid: Pre-Built Optimization for Simple KPIs

Beeswax offers a number of common optimization and pacing strategies out of the box, under the product name Hexbid. Hexbid strategies can be used without any engineering work, and are available in the Buzz UI as well as the API. The list of available strategies can be found here.

Bid Modifier "Terms": Powerful Yet Simple Controls Over Bidding

Bid Modifier (sometimes called "Bid Multipliers" or "Bid Factors") are a common technique in bidding systems to allow you to increase or decrease the bid given the presence of a value in the RTB auction. For a simple example, you could multiply the bid by 2x when the user is on the Safari browser and reduce the bid by 0.5x when on the Chrome browser.

For further information on Bid Modifiers see:

"Bid Models": Bring Your Data Science Directly to Bidding

While Bid Modifier Terms are a powerful tool, they are limited in their ability to express relationships between variables on the bid request. Bid Models lets you determine the bid when any specific combination of variables is present on the bid request, such as when the user is on the Chrome browser and it is 2PM in the afternoon, to give an example.

In general Bid Models are meant to be flexible, allowing you to use any modeling tools/workflow and express the model in a straight forward format. A typical workflow might look like the following:

  • Create a model using Beeswax logs (wins, conversions, etc). Model features are bid request keys, and the prediction is either a bid or a bid multiplier.
  • Create a Bid Model via API or UI, then upload an associated Bid Model Version to S3. Upload includes a manifest file and set of data files.
  • Attach the Bid Model to a Bid Modifier and traffic a Campaign.
  • Beeswax does a lookup against the Bid Model for each matching bid request. If there is a match, the value from the model is used as the bid or multiplier. If there is no match, the default bid is used.
  • As more performance data is collected, the model can be re-trained and uploaded as a new Bid Model Version.

For more information see Bid Models.

Bidding Agents

Bidding Agents are the most powerful custom bidding integration available from Beeswax. With Bidding Agents you can respond to each auction request with your own proprietary logic and algorithms, written in whatever programming language you desire. Read more about Bidding Agents in our Stinger Documentation.

Delivery Models

The powerful optimization techniques described above all work by modulating the bid price. Another dimension on which to optimize is along the pacing or delivery of bids, irrespective to the bid price. Delivery Models allow you to weight the delivery of a Line Item according to complex criteria.

Like Bid Modifiers, you create a Delivery Modifier in the UI or API. Then you either associate Terms with the modifier (100 max terms) or associate a Bid Models for more complex relationships (100 max rows). Each row of the modifier is a number from 0 to 1000, and represents the relative weight of delivery of matching auctions vs other rows in the modifier.