UKD: Debiasing Conversion Rate Estimation via Uncertainty-regularized Knowledge Distillation

In online advertising, conventional post-click conversion rate (CVR) estimation models are trained using clicked samples. However, during online serving the models need to estimate for all impression ads, leading to the sample selection bias (SSB) issue. Intuitively, providing reliable supervision signals for unclicked ads is a feasible way to alleviate the SSB issue. This paper proposes an uncertainty-regularized knowledge distillation (UKD) framework to debias CVR estimation via distilling knowledge from unclicked ads. A teacher model learns click-adaptive representations and produces pseudo-conversion labels on unclicked ads as supervision signals. Then a student model is trained on both clicked and unclicked ads with knowledge distillation, performing uncertainty modeling to alleviate the inherent noise in pseudo-labels. Experiments on billion-scale datasets show that UKD outperforms previous debiasing methods. Online results verify that UKD achieves significant improvements.

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