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o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
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/* Font Definitions */
@font-face
        {font-family:Wingdings;
        panose-1:5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0;}
@font-face
        {font-family:"Cambria Math";
        panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;}
@font-face
        {font-family:Cambria;
        panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;}
@font-face
        {font-family:Calibri;
        panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;}
/* Style Definitions */
p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
        {margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
h1
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 1 Char";
        margin-top:24.0pt;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:14.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
h1.CxSpFirst
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 1 Char";
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin-top:24.0pt;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:0in;
        margin-left:0in;
        margin-bottom:.0001pt;
        font-size:14.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
h1.CxSpMiddle
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 1 Char";
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin:0in;
        margin-bottom:.0001pt;
        font-size:14.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
h1.CxSpLast
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 1 Char";
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:14.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
h2
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 2 Char";
        margin-top:10.0pt;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:13.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
h3
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 3 Char";
        margin-top:10.0pt;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        line-height:110%;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
h4
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 4 Char";
        margin-top:10.0pt;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;
        font-style:italic;}
h5
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 5 Char";
        margin-top:10.0pt;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        color:#7F7F7F;
        font-weight:bold;}
h6
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 6 Char";
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        line-height:110%;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        color:#7F7F7F;
        font-weight:bold;
        font-style:italic;}
p.MsoHeading7, li.MsoHeading7, div.MsoHeading7
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 7 Char";
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-style:italic;}
p.MsoHeading8, li.MsoHeading8, div.MsoHeading8
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 8 Char";
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:10.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";}
p.MsoHeading9, li.MsoHeading9, div.MsoHeading9
        {mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 9 Char";
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:10.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.25pt;
        font-style:italic;}
p.MsoTitle, li.MsoTitle, div.MsoTitle
        {mso-style-priority:10;
        mso-style-link:"Title Char";
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:26.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.25pt;}
p.MsoTitleCxSpFirst, li.MsoTitleCxSpFirst, div.MsoTitleCxSpFirst
        {mso-style-priority:10;
        mso-style-link:"Title Char";
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin:0in;
        margin-bottom:.0001pt;
        font-size:26.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.25pt;}
p.MsoTitleCxSpMiddle, li.MsoTitleCxSpMiddle, div.MsoTitleCxSpMiddle
        {mso-style-priority:10;
        mso-style-link:"Title Char";
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin:0in;
        margin-bottom:.0001pt;
        font-size:26.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.25pt;}
p.MsoTitleCxSpLast, li.MsoTitleCxSpLast, div.MsoTitleCxSpLast
        {mso-style-priority:10;
        mso-style-link:"Title Char";
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:26.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.25pt;}
p.MsoSubtitle, li.MsoSubtitle, div.MsoSubtitle
        {mso-style-priority:11;
        mso-style-link:"Subtitle Char";
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:30.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.65pt;
        font-style:italic;}
a:link, span.MsoHyperlink
        {mso-style-priority:99;
        color:blue;
        text-decoration:underline;}
a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed
        {mso-style-priority:99;
        color:purple;
        text-decoration:underline;}
em
        {mso-style-priority:20;
        letter-spacing:.5pt;
        border:none windowtext 1.0pt;
        padding:0in;
        font-weight:bold;}
p
        {mso-style-priority:99;
        mso-margin-top-alt:auto;
        margin-right:0in;
        mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
p.MsoNoSpacing, li.MsoNoSpacing, div.MsoNoSpacing
        {mso-style-priority:1;
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
p.MsoListParagraph, li.MsoListParagraph, div.MsoListParagraph
        {mso-style-priority:34;
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:.5in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
p.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst
        {mso-style-priority:34;
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:0in;
        margin-left:.5in;
        margin-bottom:.0001pt;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
p.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle
        {mso-style-priority:34;
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:0in;
        margin-left:.5in;
        margin-bottom:.0001pt;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
p.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast
        {mso-style-priority:34;
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:.5in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
p.MsoQuote, li.MsoQuote, div.MsoQuote
        {mso-style-priority:29;
        mso-style-link:"Quote Char";
        margin-top:10.0pt;
        margin-right:.25in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:.25in;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
        font-style:italic;}
p.MsoIntenseQuote, li.MsoIntenseQuote, div.MsoIntenseQuote
        {mso-style-priority:30;
        mso-style-link:"Intense Quote Char";
        margin-top:10.0pt;
        margin-right:.8in;
        margin-bottom:14.0pt;
        margin-left:.7in;
        text-align:justify;
        font-size:12.0pt;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
        font-weight:bold;
        font-style:italic;}
span.MsoSubtleEmphasis
        {mso-style-priority:19;
        font-style:italic;}
span.MsoIntenseEmphasis
        {mso-style-priority:21;
        font-weight:bold;}
span.MsoSubtleReference
        {mso-style-priority:31;
        font-variant:small-caps;}
span.MsoIntenseReference
        {mso-style-priority:32;
        font-variant:small-caps;
        letter-spacing:.25pt;
        text-decoration:underline;}
span.MsoBookTitle
        {mso-style-priority:33;
        font-variant:small-caps;
        letter-spacing:.25pt;
        font-style:italic;}
p.MsoTocHeading, li.MsoTocHeading, div.MsoTocHeading
        {mso-style-priority:39;
        margin-top:24.0pt;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:14.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
p.MsoTocHeadingCxSpFirst, li.MsoTocHeadingCxSpFirst, div.MsoTocHeadingCxSpFirst
        {mso-style-priority:39;
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin-top:24.0pt;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:0in;
        margin-left:0in;
        margin-bottom:.0001pt;
        font-size:14.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
p.MsoTocHeadingCxSpMiddle, li.MsoTocHeadingCxSpMiddle, div.MsoTocHeadingCxSpMiddle
        {mso-style-priority:39;
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin:0in;
        margin-bottom:.0001pt;
        font-size:14.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
p.MsoTocHeadingCxSpLast, li.MsoTocHeadingCxSpLast, div.MsoTocHeadingCxSpLast
        {mso-style-priority:39;
        mso-style-type:export-only;
        margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:4.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        font-size:14.0pt;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
span.Heading1Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 1 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 1";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
span.Heading2Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 2 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 2";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
span.Heading3Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 3 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 3";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;}
span.Heading4Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 4 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 4";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-weight:bold;
        font-style:italic;}
span.Heading5Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 5 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 5";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        color:#7F7F7F;
        font-weight:bold;}
span.Heading6Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 6 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 6";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        color:#7F7F7F;
        font-weight:bold;
        font-style:italic;}
span.Heading7Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 7 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 7";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        font-style:italic;}
span.Heading8Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 8 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 8";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";}
span.Heading9Char
        {mso-style-name:"Heading 9 Char";
        mso-style-priority:9;
        mso-style-link:"Heading 9";
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.25pt;
        font-style:italic;}
span.TitleChar
        {mso-style-name:"Title Char";
        mso-style-priority:10;
        mso-style-link:Title;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.25pt;}
span.SubtitleChar
        {mso-style-name:"Subtitle Char";
        mso-style-priority:11;
        mso-style-link:Subtitle;
        font-family:"Cambria","serif";
        letter-spacing:.65pt;
        font-style:italic;}
span.QuoteChar
        {mso-style-name:"Quote Char";
        mso-style-priority:29;
        mso-style-link:Quote;
        font-style:italic;}
span.IntenseQuoteChar
        {mso-style-name:"Intense Quote Char";
        mso-style-priority:30;
        mso-style-link:"Intense Quote";
        font-weight:bold;
        font-style:italic;}
span.EmailStyle45
        {mso-style-type:personal-compose;
        font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
.MsoChpDefault
        {mso-style-type:export-only;
        font-size:10.0pt;}
@page WordSection1
        {size:8.5in 11.0in;
        margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in;}
div.WordSection1
        {page:WordSection1;}
/* List Definitions */
@list l0
        {mso-list-id:1993093905;
        mso-list-type:hybrid;
        mso-list-template-ids:-1828260418 67698689 67698691 67698693 67698689 67698691 67698693 67698689 67698691 67698693;}
@list l0:level1
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:\F0B7;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:Symbol;}
@list l0:level2
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:o;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:"Courier New";}
@list l0:level3
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:\F0A7;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:Wingdings;}
@list l0:level4
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:\F0B7;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:Symbol;}
@list l0:level5
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:o;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:"Courier New";}
@list l0:level6
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:\F0A7;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:Wingdings;}
@list l0:level7
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:\F0B7;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:Symbol;}
@list l0:level8
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:o;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:"Courier New";}
@list l0:level9
        {mso-level-number-format:bullet;
        mso-level-text:\F0A7;
        mso-level-tab-stop:none;
        mso-level-number-position:left;
        text-indent:-.25in;
        font-family:Wingdings;}
ol
        {margin-bottom:0in;}
ul
        {margin-bottom:0in;}
--></style><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml>
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</o:shapelayout></xml><![endif]--></head><body lang=EN-US link=blue vlink=purple><div class=WordSection1><table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellpadding=0 width=600 style='width:6.25in'><tr><td style='padding:.75pt .75pt .75pt .75pt'><div style='margin-bottom:4.0pt'><div class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align:center'><span style='font-size:11.0pt'><hr size=2 width="100%" align=center></span></div></div><p align=center style='text-align:center'><span style='font-size:11.0pt'>Boston University -- Computer Science Department<br><br><strong>P H D&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; D E F E N S E</strong><br><br>Thursday&nbsp;June 16, 2011 / 3:00pm - 4:30pm<br>SMG-322 (<a href="http://www.bu.edu/maps/?id=266">http://www.bu.edu/maps/?id=266</a>) <o:p></o:p></span></p><div style='margin-bottom:4.0pt'><div class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align:center'><span style='font-size:11.0pt;color:blue'><hr size=2 width="100%" align=center></span></div></div></td></tr><tr><td style='padding:.75pt .75pt .75pt .75pt'><p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:11.0pt'>DATA-DRIVEN ANALYSIS OF ELECTRONIC COMMERCE SYSTEMS<o:p></o:p></span></b></p><p align=center style='text-align:center'><strong><span style='font-size:11.0pt'>Giorgos Zervas</span></strong><span style='font-size:11.0pt'> <br><b><a href="http://cs-people.bu.edu/zg/">http://cs-people.bu.edu/zg/</a> <o:p></o:p></b></span></p><blockquote style='margin-top:5.0pt;margin-bottom:5.0pt'><p class=MsoNormal><strong><span style='font-size:11.0pt'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></strong></p><p class=MsoNormal><strong><span style='font-size:11.0pt'>Abstract:</span></strong><span style='font-size:11.0pt'> We contribute to the large body of work studying electronic commerce by proposing and evaluating a method of inquiry that complements standard game-theoretic and econometric methods, which simplify systems to strategic interactions of rational, utility-maximizing agents. In our framework, economic agents continuously reveal their preferences through their interactions with e-commerce systems that ``leak'' data. Such data can be seen as an ex-post realization of strategic behavior. We demonstrate that by collecting and analyzing this information, we are able to gain new insights on system-level properties as well as the participating agents' operational strategies. Our approach thereby complements economic modeling both in informing the design of more accurate models and in assessing their validity.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt'>The contributions arise from three case studies in electronic commerce: pay-per-bid auctions, daily discount coupons, and Internet advertising. In the context of pay-per-bid auctions we extend previous modeling work which, despite evidence to the contrary, predicts profit-free equilibria to offer an explanation for the dramatic profits firms can derive from even rational, risk-neutral players. In the context of discount coupons, we undertake a study of Groupon, the market leader. We develop regression-based models of deal outcomes that demonstrate the extent to which Groupon customers are sensitive to incentives other than price such as the deal's location, duration and starting weekday. Finally, in the context of Internet advertising we develop algorithms to estimate valuations of search terms from highly aggregated and noisy click-stream data. We experimentally demonstrate that using our algorithms, search term valuations can be efficiently learned, leading to properly informed bidding strategies.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p><b><span style='font-size:11.0pt'>Examination Committee:</span></b><span style='font-size:11.0pt'><o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst style='mso-margin-top-alt:5.0pt;margin-right:.5in;margin-bottom:5.0pt;margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.25in;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo2'><![if !supportLists]><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol'><span style='mso-list:Ignore'>&middot;<span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><![endif]><span dir=LTR></span><span style='font-size:11.0pt'>John Byers (First Reader and Major Advisor)<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle style='mso-margin-top-alt:5.0pt;margin-right:.5in;margin-bottom:5.0pt;margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.25in;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo2'><![if !supportLists]><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol'><span style='mso-list:Ignore'>&middot;<span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><![endif]><span dir=LTR></span><span style='font-size:11.0pt'>Michael Mitzenmacher (Second Reader and co-Advisor) <o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle style='mso-margin-top-alt:5.0pt;margin-right:.5in;margin-bottom:5.0pt;margin-left:.5in;text-indent:-.25in;mso-list:l0 level1 l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