Understanding the Network and User-Targeting Properties of Web Advertising Networks

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Advertising has become an integral and inseparable part of the World Wide Web. However, neither public auditing nor monitoring mechanisms still exist in this emerging area. In this paper, the authors present their initial efforts on building a network and content-level auditing service for Web-based ad networks. Their network-level measurements - charting the network infrastructure and quantifying the ad platforms' delay performance - can help commissioners to evaluate their networks from end users' perspective, and let advertisers choose commissioners that better fit their needs.