As audience-based linear TV campaigns become more common, we are seeing that the default goal of campaign optimization is shifting from maximizing advanced target impressions to maximizing advanced target reach (or at least, to have more control over it). Therefore, it is important to understand what reach optimization really is, why it is a difficult computational problem, and what approaches can be taken to approximate a solution in a timely fashion. In this post, I focus on the problem itself. Later on, I will focus on solution approaches.
The way we approach problems in life is informed by our past experiences. In my case, my take on the reach optimization problem starts with what happened at the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year at the University of Delaware. I was a postdoctoral researcher there at the time, and all the community including faculty, staff, and students were very excited. Our excitement was not due to the return to classes, or because we would see friends again. We were excited because a Starbucks coffee shop had opened on campus! Read More