Large-scale Ensemble Model for Customer Churn Prediction in Search Ads

Qiu Feng Wang*, Mirror Xu, Amir Hussain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Customer churn prediction is one of the most important issues in search ads business management, which is a multi-billion market. The aim of churn prediction is to detect customers with a high propensity to leave the ads platform, then to do analysis and increase efforts for retaining them ahead of time. Ensemble model combines multiple weak models to obtain better predictive performance, which is inspired by human cognitive system and is widely used in various applications of machine learning. In this paper, we investigate how the ensemble model of gradient boosting decision tree (GBDT) to predict whether a customer will be a churner in the foreseeable future based on its activities in the search ads. We extract two types of features for the GBDT: dynamic features and static features. For dynamic features, we consider a sequence of customers’ activities (e.g., impressions, clicks) during a long period. For static features, we consider the information of customers setting (e.g., creation time, customer type). We evaluated the prediction performance in a large-scale customer data set from Bing Ads platform, and the results show that the static and dynamic features are complementary, and get the AUC (area under the curve of ROC) value 0.8410 on the test set by combining all features. The proposed model is useful to predict those customers who will be churner in the near future on the ads platform, and it has been successfully daily run on the Bing Ads platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
JournalCognitive Computation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Churn prediction
  • Dynamic features
  • Ensemble model
  • Machine learning
  • Search ads
  • Static features

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